Determinants of forest and tree uses across households of different sites and ethnicities in Bangladesh

Ronju Ahammad, Natasha Stacey, Terry Sunderland

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    Abstract

    This study examines the determinants of forest and tree-product uses in rural households across three sites of different proximity to roads and forests in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in Bangladesh. A structured questionnaire survey was conducted with 300 households of different ethnic groups, located in three different locations (remote, intermediate, on-road), to collect information on their forest and tree use during 2015–2016. We gathered information on household socioeconomic characteristics (family size, education level of head of household, size of farmland), location (three sites), and ethnic affiliation. By conducting a series of logistic regression modeling, we analyzed the key determinants that would explain the variations in forest use in the households. We recorded twelve different forest and tree products used in the households, primarily for subsistence purposes and cash income. Fuelwood, vegetables, and fish were recorded as the most important forest-sourced products used by people, regardless of socioeconomic condition, location context, and ethnic affiliation. Household land/farm size, location, and ethnic background explained significant variations in the use of forest and tree products (mainly timber, fodder for livestock). The greater the size of the landholding, the more likely timber was used for both subsistence and cash income, but the less the reliance on other products (fuelwood, thatch grass, vegetables). Our findings suggest that the location and ethnic characteristics of the rural households are important for understanding the diverse needs for forest and tree use, and should be factored into the site-specific management and sustainable use of forest and tree resources in Bangladesh and other tropical developing countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)232-242
    Number of pages11
    JournalSustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy
    Volume17
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was conducted with support from the Global Agrarian Change Project, led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) with funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK?s Department for International Development (DFID) through grants to CIFOR. This publication is an output of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. The research was also funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award, and postgraduate research funding under the Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment of Charles Darwin University, Australia, and a Ph.D. Dissertation Fellowship of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) through the Asian Centre for Development, Bangladesh. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments in improving the paper?s contents. We would like to thank the Bangladesh Forest Department, the Department of Agriculture Extension, the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies, Arannayk Foundation (Bangladesh Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation), Tahzingdong (Bandarban) and Chakma Circle Office (Rangamati) for providing background information and support in undertaking the study in the CHT region. We would like to especially thank people from the CHT region who assisted with field trips organisation, and their patience in providing information required to accomplish the research. The cordial support of traditional leaders and local communities in each district made it possible for us to access remote villages and organize community meetings. We also thank to the research assistants (Ushay Hayng Marma, Moshi Tripura, Mong Hla Thoi Chak, Elijoy Tripura, Mong Shwe Shing Marma, Mita Chakma, Sona Dhan Chakma, Chanda Sen Chakma, Suvangkor Chakma, Saching U, Maruf Ullah, Uttam Bikash Chakma, Ratan Jyoti Chakma) for their efforts and integrity during field work. We would specially thank Mong Hla Myant, Aung Shwe Sing and Piching U for organising the field trip in Rangamati and Bandarban. Finally we would also thank Sajadul Alam, Gazi A Rahman Nahid, Shakin Rahman, Mehedi and Sabuj for preliminary data cleaning and mapping of the study areas.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Copyright:
    Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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