National Action Programme (NAP) for Combating Desertification
Bangladesh is a signatory to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It was signed in January 1996 and after ratifying the convention the country became a party to it. The Convention came into force in 1997. Among many environmental issues facing Bangladesh, land degradation due to aridity and loss of crops due to droughts have caused considerable economic losses and human suffering than any other problem in Bangladesh.
Desertification means land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub- humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities, leading to reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rain fed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands. Bangladesh comprises of the floodplains of the Jamuna, the Padma, the Meghna and some of the smaller rivers. The Madhupur Tract, the Barind Tract, and the Akhaura Terrace stand slightly above floodplain level and the Hills lie to the East and the North. According to the criteria set by the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) for defining a dry region (the ratio of annual rainfall to potential evapotranspiration (ETo) may be a maximum of 0.65), no region within Bangladesh can be termed as dry region. However, Bangladesh does experience long spells of dry weather and moderate to severe droughts are spread over a region of 5.46 million ha. The western northwestern part of the country is generally considered as the drier region. The total precipitation in the dry regions is low but the rainfall often occurs in sudden heavy storms, which sometimes lead to flooding and soil erosion. During the 7-month dry season in some regions, the evapotranspiration exceeds the amount of rainfall by a factor of 2.0. Between 1960 and 1991, droughts occurred in Bangladesh 19 times. Very severe droughts hit the country in 1951, 1961, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, and 1989. Past droughts have typically affected about 47 percent area of the country and 53 percent of the population.
- Publisher: Department of Environment Ministry of Environment and Forest Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh Download