Date: April 10, 2012
Venue: CIRDAP Auditorium, Segunbagicha, Dhaka
Seminar called for joint management over common resources in Barind Tract
Joint management of common resources can contribute significantly in uplifting the livelihood of extreme poor people including ethnic minorities in Barind Tract. The suggestion came from a seminar organized in Dhaka by NETZ Partnership for Development and Justice.
The seminar entitled “Using common resources by the ethnic minorities of Barind Tract: Problem and Potentialities” was designed to share the findings of a study that Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) carried out under the scope of AMADER Project. AMADER is a project of the Government of Bangladesh supported by DFID/Shiree and implemented by NETZ and its partner organizations in Barind tract particularly in Rajshahi, Chapainwabganj, Dinajpur and Noagaon districts.
Advocate Sultana Kamal, Executive Director of Ain-o-Salish Kendra and Former Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh chaired the seminar while Dr. Meghna Guhathakurta and Dr. Md. Korban Ali presented the keynote paper. The paper identified major causes of conflict over using common resources and suggested best practices for conflict management. The paper also came out with number of recommendations that may be helpful to establish a congenial management system for use of common resources in the Barind Tract.
Advocate Sultana Kamal acknowledged the contribution of ethnic communities in our liberation war and suggested that the state has its own duty to ensure land rights of the ethnic communities. Barrister Sara Hossain, Honorary Director of BLAST and one of the panel discussants in the seminar argued for legal awareness and more legal aid provisions into the development agenda.
Mr. Sukanta Sen of BARCIK and Mr. Shamsul Huda from ALRD strongly supported the idea for a land commission for the ethnic communities living in plain land. After her presentation, Dr. Guhathakurat said, “Pro-active disclosures on Khashland could be significantly helpful for extreme poor people including ethnic communities. The right to information act can be instrumental in this regard.”
Two direct beneficiaries of AMADER project also shared their experiences on how joint resources management play an important role in their livelihood.
Dr. Joe Devine from Bath University, UK and Mr. Ganesh Soren from Ashrai were other two panel discussants in the seminar while number of participants from national and international development organization shared their views on the issue. Dr. Joe mentioned, “Accessing common resources is an obvious way to help the most disadvantaged and excluded in society. However the presentation today reminds us once again that enabling access requires political solutions and commitment.”
Mr. Asadul Islam, Joint Secretary and Project Director of EEP/Shiree Project mentioned that AMADER project has brought positive changes in the Barind tract. He asked for making a way out for sustaining the achievement.