Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS)
Funding support: Korea Green Foundation and Give2Asia, USA
Number of staff: 25
Number of visitors per year: Approx 10,000 (Ten thousand)
Overall aims of the centre
Our main aims are to promote the long-term co-existence of people and natural ecosystems on our planet for creating harmony among all living beings.
Green Education Centre
Description of the centre:
Both of our two centres are adjacent of Sundarbans Mangrove Forest.
Sundarbans Mangrove is the UNESCO declared Natural World Heritage as well as RAMASAR Wetland site which is known as the largest single mangrove forest in the world. It is located in the southwest coastal part of Bangladesh and a small part of west Bengal of India, near the Bay of Bengal. In Bangladesh, the Sundarbans cover an extensive area of Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat districts. The Baleshwar River marks the east corner, the Roymongal River the west corner, Bay of Bengal the south corner and a large area extends northward into Bangladesh. The total area of Sundarbans in Bangladesh and India is 10,000 square kilometres, with 60% in Bangladesh and 40% in India. The area in Bangladesh is 6017 square kilometres. Approximately 70% of the Sundarbans area is land and 30% is water. The Sundarbans covers about 4% of the total area of Bangladesh, and contain roughly 40% of the total forest of our country.
Sundarbans mangrove flagship ecosystem is the natural safeguard and livelihood support for 3.2 million climate vulnerable coastal people. It is a biodiversity hotspot and living school of biodiversity. There are many Endangered and Critically Endangered animals in this Mangrove Forest. There are innumerable resident and migratory birds in this forest. According to the Forest Department, there are about 334 species of trees, 165 species of Algae, 13 species of Orchids, about 400 species of wild animals (about 35 reptile, 315 birds and 42 mammals) and more than 291 species of fishes.
The Sundarbans is our natural resource. Many species of Sundarbans trees have life-saving medicinal attributes. Millions of people living near the Sundarbans earn their livelihood by collecting honey-wax, fish, crab and Nypa (thatch) from the forests. Those who collect Nypa from the Sundarbans are called ‘Bowali’, ‘Mowali’ collect honey-wax, and those who collect fish and crab are called Fishermen. Many people are earn their livelihood by working for the forest department in forest management. Many families make a living in the tourism business. In addition, the government earns revenue from Sundarbans resources and tourists.
There are many accepted stories about the Sundarbans in folklore, such as Gazi-Kalu-Champabati, Bonbibi and others. Different types of fairs like Banbibi Worship, Gazi-Kalu fair and Rashmela, are held at different times of the year in the Sundarbans region. These festivals bring endless joy to the lives of the forest-dependent people who live far from the diversions of the city.
Cyclone shelter and Training Centre
Approx size of our Cyclone shelter and Training Centre is 50 decimal and approx size of our Green Education Centre is 33 decimal but we are trying to increase its size.
Under the Cyclone shelter and Training Centre we are conducting the following activities:
Providing safe shelter support to the natural disaster vulnerable communities during disaster period
Conducting regular formal and informal education service to the fishermen’s children and literacy education to the villagers. Conducting Mangrove Training and Research activities
Providing a safe working place for the Sundarbans Mangrove Resources harvesters as well as Community Based Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) making centre. Conducting Community Based Eco Tourism activities. Supporting the students and professional for internship, thesis, research
Under the our Green Education Centre we are conducting the following activities:
Providing Eco Fishing, Eco Farming, Health and Sanitation education to the villagers who are living beside the Mangrove ecosystem. Providing environmental education among primary, secondary and college going students. Conducting local Eco Tour Guide Training Program. Conducting Handicraft Training Program
Approx 10,000 (Ten thousand) villagers, students, teachers, tourist visit our centres
Main CEPA work areas:
Our main consideration is Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness-raising (CEPA) activities.
Under the CEPA work areas we are conducting the following activities:
We are regular conducting formal and informal education, regular conducting Sundarbans biodiversity awareness raising program among villagers who are living adjacent of Sundarbans. We always ensure the participation of the local communities, government, NGOs, CBOs, University professors etc
Top three successes
We developed a series of Sundarbans Mangrove Biodiversity Education materials for students, teachers and communities. Our Education materials have been using among 82 Government primary schools all over the country. We have received the Government Award at 2015 and 2016 from the Department of Environment, Khulna Division, Khulna, Bangladesh
Top three challenges
We failed to execute some of our planned activities due to lack of funding and skill manpower
Producing written materials.
Setting up a new visitor centre; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Engaging hard-to-reach groups; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.
Md. Maksudur Rahman
Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS)
House No. 03, Road No 20
Nirala R/A, Khulna- 9100, Bangladesh
Tel: + 88 041 721123 Cell: + 88-01712 868004
Skype name: beds20111
Website address: www.bedsbd.org