This second year policy analysis paper observes that the command and control approach of the Forest Department of Bangladesh toward managing the Sundarbans mangrove forest has been unsuccessful. The Sundarbans, a treasured UNESCO World Heritage Site, have degraded steadily over time. This paper argues that the Forest Department needs to “think outside of the forest” and address the primary causes of degradation nearly all of which fall outside the forest. It adopts the perspective of the Nishorgo Program that was created within the Forest Department to develop and implement strategies to co-manage areas like the Sundarbans with the involvement of key stakeholders.
This paper is a Policy Analysis Exercise by a student at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. This research was supported, in part, by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School.