Biodiversity Offset (Relocation) in Dhaka, Bangladesh




Project summary

Relocation of the suite of plant biodiversity (mature trees, herbs and shrubs, seeds, cuttings etc.) from a development site in Dhaka to a Farmers' Voice biodiversity reserve (privately acquired) outside the city.



Motivation, objectives and target groups

Primarily, to protect and conserve declining urban biodiversity in Dhaka, by relocating ('saving') biodiversity ordinarily destroyed by apartment/commercial construction on un-developed areas within the city.

Secondarily, to demonstrate and raise awareness of the level of biodiversity at these development sites.

Thirdly, to provide an example or template for improved Environmental Assessment, biodiversity offsetting, and urban building-code practices in Bangladesh.



Activities

Access and consent was obtained from the site owner and/or the building company. Trees were purchased according to their fire-wood value.

Over a period of two years, plants, seeds and roots were carefully removed from the building site and relocated to a new site, where the plant biodiversity was re-established here for long-term protection.

Activities included physical relocation of mature trees (and roots/soil), propagation of cuttings, harvesting of under-ground root-stock, and collection and germination of seeds.

In particular, trees were carefully managed to maintain soil and root-stock, and moisture within trees excavated and prepared for transport were carefully managed manually, via watering and drainage.

Specimens were transported by a small van and re-established at a specifically-chosen site to create a 'biodiversity reserve'. Funding for acquisition of this site was provided for three years, via a SSF Peace Award (2011).

At this site (previously bare soil) trees were re-planted, seedlings established and specimens were cultivated to re-establish a green-space area.



Project results

Farmers' Voice was able to successfully relocate the vast majority of all specimens, although they note that greater access to technical expertise was desirable for a small number of the larger trees.

All specimens were successfully reestablished at the new 'Biodiversity reserve' site, and at least 95 species were documented through this process.

By relocating a full range of plants through this process, Farmers' Voice was able to demonstrate the viability of this approach, and provide a visible example to communities at both the development and destination sites.

Farmers' Voice believes this is an accessible template for future projects and improved environmental assessment and urban development policy. They are highly motivated to actively pursue funding resources to develop this concept further.



Countries affected

Bangladesh



Duration

2 years



Budget

Un-specified



Partners

Local Development Authority
Farmers' Voice
Local Community Members

Partial funding by SSF Peace Award, 2011



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