The day started with an introductory speech from the Convener Mr. Mohammad Arju (on behalf of Save Our Sea’s President Mr. AKM Fazlul Hoque Majumder); followed by remarks from Mr. Nathan Sage and Dr. Abdul Wahab. Program Chair Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad inaugurated the event with his opening speech. (For the General Schedule please visit this page.)
Day-long proceedings of the 2nd Marine Conservation and Blue Economy Symposium at the Capital’s BRAC Center Inn was conducted by Mr. Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique from IUCN Bangladesh.
The technical sessions were moderated by Mr. Jozef Vander Zanden, Coordinator, Biodiversity, IUCN Bangladesh; he was assisted by Ms. Alifa Bintha Haque, Member Secretary of the symposium’s program committee.
The first presentation of the first session started with Mr. Tawhidur Rahman where he discussed on how Ecological Modelling can help in planning and managing our future seascape in Bangladesh.
Following his presentation, Mr. Atiqur R Sunny simply brought our attention to the fact that different climatic drivers and anthropogenic pressures are affecting our ecosystem services and human well-being In Sundarbans.
Later, Professor Abdullah Harun Chowdhury PhD turned the attention into to the sea, where he showed how enriched our algal biodiversity is in The St. Matins, and how different stressors are causing us loose this rich algal biodiversity.
The audience listened about the untapped alternative sources of marine renewable energy that can play a crucial role in our national economy. In his presentation Mr. Arnob Banik suggested several methods of harnessing the wave energy from the Bay of Bengal.
The first technical session was followed by special talk by Mr. Nathan Sage. Mr. Sage took a completely different approach by roaming around different tables asking questions to participants. His questions brought our attention to the very basic motive of this symposium—why are we doing conservation and why should we stick with it? His inspiring talk will hopefully increase the number of marine conservationist Bangladesh and he is looking forward to the symposium for next year.
Marine mega-fauna conservation
Mr. Brian D. Smith PhD showed how the fishers’ can be transformed into citizen scientist to conserve critical and endangered marine mega-fauna like cetaceans. They have equipped fishermen with GPS and other relevant technical training, and most importantly motivation to do this incredible job. In long term, this could help spatial panning in the Bay of Bengal.
Then the house heard from veteran Professor Benazir Ahmed about the cetacean diversity of the Bay of Bengal from the long experience that he has. The audience also heard how he became a cetacean experts though starting as a parasitologists in his earlier days.
Later on, Mr. Enamul Hoq PhD gave an overview of the elasmobranch diversity in the Bay of Bengal and the National Plan of Action for Shark conservation with support from BOBLME -FAO. He also explained how different gears are casing shark by-catch in the Bay of Bengal.
The overview from Dr. Hoq was supplemented by Ms. Fahmida Khalique Nitu from Save Our Sea, presented the de-facto status of continuous illegal shark harvest and export despite having measures taken by government. She highlighted different knowledge development and institutional developmental stops for conservation management for the elasmobranch in the Bay of Bengal.
Mr. Mokhlesur Rahman PhD presented a case study of Gabura where the communities were engaged with co-management system to restore mangroves in villages near Sundarbans and how policy steps can help upscale the model in larger scale in future.
The talk was followed up by Mr. Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique who compared between the case of Chakaria Sundarban and Gabura to show why locally-led conservation is necessary, not the other way round.
The session concluded with an example form Ms. Alifa Bintha Haque from Save Our Sea who showed how different interactions between the community and ecosystem can be used as a basis to set a locally-led marine area around St. Martins Island.
(The certificate of attendance and proceedings will be available soon. If you are a participant and need to communicate with the program committee about sharing your experience/thoughts/suggestions on our blog, or if you’ve any queries about the certificate and proceedings, please feel free to drop an email at [email protected])