Ownership, utilization and management of wetlands in Bangladesh: a case study of Hakaluki Haor

Ahmed, Irina
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University of Guelph

Issues related to the use and management of wetlands have received considerable attention in recent years in the wake of fast disappearance of this natural resource. Inadequate institutional arrangements or property rights have been cited as an important causal factor for this disappearance. This study characterizes existing property rights and their consequences for the use of the resources of Hakaluki Haor in Bangladesh, one of the largest wetlands in South Asia. Apart from taking a first step towards identifying the property rights involved in use of Hakaluki Haor, this study also carries out an empirical test of a claim made by Schlager and Ostrom (1992) that individuals with management rights have a greater incentive to invest in resource improvements than resource users without management rights. Empirical results generated in this study do not provide enough evidence to support this claim. The results also suggest that differences in rights between men and women can have significant impact on the decisions related to the management and conservation of wetland resources in Bangladesh.

Wetlands, Bangladesh, Hakaluki Haor, Management, Property rights