Welcome to Nishorgo Network
The basic premise of the Nishorgo Network is a collaborative response to conserve, restore and enhance dwindling biodiverse ecosystems (forest protected areas, wetlands and ecologically critical areas) in Bangladesh. Collaborative approaches work jointly between the local community (usually organized into community based organizations), civil society and Government through collaborative or “co-management” bodies, and/or by devolving responsibilities to community-based organizations. The aim is to reverse degradation of these ecosystems. Focusing on conservation, collaborative management and pro-poor activities are the main principles adopted by network members.
Today, climate change is no longer a future threat, but a current and urgent issue to address for the Government and the communities living around forests and wetlands. Building resilient communities and ecosystems to reduce climate change vulnerability through local adaptation is crucial and the Nishorgo Network facilitates adoption of good practices and helps members raise these issues into the national development agenda.
The network vision is that it will conserve biodiversity for our future generations.
Around the country there are currently 86 co-management bodies (co-management committees of different types and community based organizations) under this network including 26 Co-management Committees in 21 Forest Protected Areas, eight Resource Management Organizations in Hail Haor (wetland), and 52 Village Conservation Groups in the ecologically critical areas of Hakaluki Haor, Cox’s bazar – Teknaf Peninsula, Sonadia Island, and St. Martin’s Island.
It is difficult for individual co-management bodies alone to address the challenges and threats for biodiversity conservation because of the magnitude of the issues. To build a conservation constituency across Bangladesh requires a widespread campaign within the country in favor of conservation, strong community mobilization, and advocacy with policy makers to raise understanding and gain their active support; all of this needs a united effort from the co-management bodies. The regional and national forum of Nishorgo Network is a platform for co-management bodies to share their experiences and move jointly to influence and address the challenges.
Nishorgo Network builds on several initiatives since 1999, where the Government of Bangladesh (including Forest Department, Department of Fisheries, Department of Environment) working with NGOs and USAID support established co-management bodies through a series of projects – MACH project (1999-2008), Nishorgo Project (2003-2008), IPAC project (2008-2013), CREL project (2013-2017).
Nishorgo Network is the affiliated network of co-managed forest and wetland conservation sites. The name “Nishorgo” implies a poetic and all-encompassing serene beauty of nature. Nishorgo Network supports the conservation of biological diversity through community participation, including livelihood diversification and enhancement to reduce ecosystem exploitation. The network is promoting good practices for conservation initiatives in freshwater and forest ecosystems. It focuses on building technical capacity in ecosystem co-management. Nishorgo Network aims to expand the geographic area under co-management to ensure the long-term success of conservation initiatives, and promotes socio-economic development linked with conservation for forest and wetland dependent people.