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Around 10,000 households of the country’s coastal belt have received diversified and innovative climate resilient livelihood under the Integrating Community-based Adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation (ICBAAR) Programme initiated in March 2017.

The information was revealed at a recent workshop jointly organized by the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at Patuakali, a UNDP press release said.

Bangladesh Forest Department and UNDP, in collaboration with seven ministries and departments of government, with the financial support from Global Environment Facility (GEF) is implementing the project which will be completed in March 31, 2021.

Participating at the two-day workshop, beneficiary of Patharghata upazila Rawshon Ara said: “Now we feel safer from natural disaster than any time of the past as green coverage is now affording shade to cope with the possible devastating consequences of natural calamities.”

Ruama, a beneficiary of Charfasson upazila, said: “Our early days were not too easy as there was no adequate livelihood option. Now, we got new life from the ICBAAR sorjone culture”.

To help Bangladesh realise the full adaptive potential of coastal greenbelts, UNDP initiated ICBA-AR programme in 2017 aiming to increase species diversity in the coastal forest, which will result in enhanced socioeconomic benefits to local communities from the forests.

The programme endeavors to enhance resilience of climate vulnerable coastal community through livelihood diversification and by linking their livelihood aspiration with coastal greenbelt management.

The event shared success, innovation and lessons of the project among key stakeholders and takes their feedback on formulating next generation project in addressing multiple vulnerabilities of climate change of coastal communities.

Stakeholders suggested designing integrated project in coastal area through linking people in co-management of coastal mangrove and biodiversity conservation.

They recommended including nature-based solution and conserving village mangrove patch in addressing climate vulnerability. They also suggested accounting role of coastal forest in climate mitigation along with adaptation.

Chaired by Forest Conservator Harun-ur Rashid Khan, the workshop was attended, among others, by Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Ziaul Hasan, Deputy Commissioner of Patuakhali Matiul Islam Chowdhury and UNDP’s Programme Specialist Arif M Faisal.

Over 100 participants, including upazila nirbahi officers, upazila agriculture, fisheries and livestock officers, forest officials of five
vulnerable coastal districts participated in the workshop following health guidelines.

Representatives from Cyclone Preparedness Programme, Bangladesh Water Development Board and NGOs, elected chairmen, project officials and beneficiaries also joined the workshop.

The project has reforested 650 hectares of coastal greenbelt with 12 diversified species to provide knowledge to the forest officials for overcoming species limitation.

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