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Community-managed forest landscapes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts: a model of a resilient rural livelihood system in Bangladesh

XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022









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    Booklet
    Achieving Food and Nutrition Security in the Chittagong hill tracts
    Improving livelihoods through sustainable management of natural resources and technological innovations in agriculture
    2014
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    The Chittagong Hill Tracts are a unique part of Bangladesh. Large tracts of the region are covered by hills, creating a mountain ecosystem rich in biological and cultural diversity. In this area people have developed distinct agricultural practices and livelihood patterns. The CHT are home to a large number of ethnic communities, who depend mostly on jum, a type of traditional shifting cultivation on very steep slopes. The CHT are divided administratively into the three hill districts of Bandarb an, Khagrachari and Rangamati. It has a total population of about 1.7 million people and covers an area of 13,295 km². The harsh environment and decades of social unrest have made the hill tracts one of the most vulnerable regions in the country in terms of food security, income, employment, health, water and sanitation, education, access to infrastructure and services. The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, signed in 1997, brought an end to more than two decades of conflict, making it possibl e for the local population to start improving their lives. The present challenges include land and population pressure, water scarcity in the dry season, extreme remoteness, weak market linkages and natural resource degradation. Greater efforts are needed to ensure that all the people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts enjoy food and nutrition security with respect for their unique traditions and identities.
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    Project
    Improved Post-Harvest Handling and Processing Techniques for Value Addition of Cashew Nuts and Coffee in the Chittagong Hill Tracts - TCP/BGD/3609 2021
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    The remote and hilly Chittagong Hill Tracts ( of Bangladesh are geographically, topographically and ethno culturally different from the country’s low lying plains They are home to approximately 1 7 million people from 12 different ethnic groups, with the majority of households being engaged in subsistence farming The agricultural potential for field crops in the area is low however, fruit tree crops have been found to grow well in upland areas These crops, including bananas, citrus fruits, jackfruit, lychees, mangoes and papayas, are gradually replacing jum a traditional form of shifting cultivation that is carried out on very steep slopes The income provided by fruit tree cultivation has improved the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by helping them generate income Investments have been made to expand fruit tree plantations in the CHTs, which are expected to increase production substantially in the near future.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Achieving food and nutrition security in remote areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts 2016
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    In remote areas of CHT, food insecurity is chronic and a widespread phenomenon, particularly during the months between June and August. During this time - overlapping with the monsoon season and the pre-harvest season of the jum rice - families run out of stocks and have limited opportunities to earn money outside the homestead. In the winter months drought is also a regular problem. Food insecurity is prevalent, and nutritional status is poorer than the rest of Bangladesh. From 2010 onwards, a series of natural shocks (pest infestations, flash flood, landslides, etc) has worsened the situation, affecting the most vulnerable, especially women who generally suffer most by eating less compared to other members of the households. From relief to development: working with rural men and women to restore their agricultural livelihoods FAO partnered with an EU resource partner and the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MoCHTA) to implement sustainable agricultural practices in the interest of better food and nutrition security.

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