K. K. Islam, J. Gomes, A. Toppo, B. Biswas, A. Mankin, A. Paul, R. Barman and S. Basak
In the last two decades, many development projects have been undertaken by different GOs and NGOs in diverse areas of the world with the expectation that they will simultaneously address the challenges of declining rural livelihoods and biodiversity. Caritas Bangladesh, a leading national and non-profit organization, has implemented several social welfare and community development projects since the 1970s. Accordingly, Caritas implemented a noble project in 2019, namely: Improving the livelihoods of extremely poor people by promoting green energy and biodiversity in the aspect of climate change in disaster-affected areas of Bangladesh (ILPGB). Therefore, the objective of the study was to evaluate the impacts of the ILPGB project on the livelihood and biodiversity improvements of the rural farmers in the Netrokona and Sunamgonj districts of Bangladesh. The assessment was done through random samplings of 60 stakeholders using a semi-structured questionnaire for livelihood analysis and quadrat (10 x 10 m2) plotting techniques in the farmer’s homestead for biodiversity analysis. The results showed that the ILPGB project had brought changes, most of which have had positive impacts on the human, social, physical, economic, and natural capital of the participants, and the process of livelihood development was slow but showed improving trends. Nevertheless, a platform for social relations and networks has been created among the participants in the project implementation areas. On the contrary, a total of 34 plant species were identified in the participants’ homestead, of which 18 were trees, 6 shrubs, and 10 herb species. The species dominance showed that farmers tend to grow fruit tree species for their family’s needs, and the general plant diversity in the northeastern region of Bangladesh was moderate to low. So, the study strongly recommends that the ILPGB project should continue for another two to three years. During this time, farmers could easily build their livelihood capital and improve their homestead biodiversity with the help of the project’s planting materials and agricultural inputs.
Keywords: Livelihood capitals; Homestead plantation; Species richness; Species diversity.