Sustainability Through an Alternative Property-Rights Regime for Bangladesh's Mangrove Forest


  • We acknowledge our thanks to the editor of the Geographical Review, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful thoughts and suggestions.


This study examines the challenges of achieving sustainable management of the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans is currently managed by the Bangladesh Department of Forest, under a state property-rights regime, while our study explores an alternative property-rights regime. We employed a mixed-method approach to examine the prospects of alternative management and livelihood strategies to achieve sustainability. Both focus groups and household surveying were used to assess the opportunities for, and barriers to, achieving sustainability. It was found that two conflicting groups—forest-dependent communities and foresters—are responsible for policy failures due to the absence of power-sharing arrangements, nor is it likely a common property-rights regime will be enough to cap degradation and achieve sustainability, while supply-and-demand policy interventions may well could help achieve sustainable management of the Sundarbans.