International Journal of Environment (ISSN: 2186-0009)  

Characterization of Dwellers as a Major Agent of Deforestationin a Reserved Forest in Bangladesh
Masakazu Tani, Md. Zulfikar Rahman, Abu Zofar Md. Moslehuddin, and Hiroshi Tsuruta
This paper analyses human groups and their socio-economic attributes and activities in a reserved forest area in the west coast of Teknaf Peninsula based on data generated by a household survey in the village of South Shilkhali, Baharchhara Union, Teknaf Upazila, Cox's Bazar District in Bangladesh. Although the reserved forest is legally closed for private activities except for certain people who have special entitlements to live in the area, about one-half of dwellers are "illegal" encroachers. Compared with people outside the reserved forest, while legal Bengali dwellers inside the reserved forest earn a comparable level of income, the income of encroachers and minority ethnic groups is significantly lower. Many of encroachers moved in the closed area relatively recently and their in-flux does not seem to tapering off. Because their main means of subsistence is involved in farming that requires clearing existing forests, increase in encroachers appears to be a major threat on forest regeneration of this area.
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