Local institutions for floodplain management in Bangladesh and the influence of the Flood Action Plan.

Sultana, Parvin and Thompson, Paul M. (2010) Local institutions for floodplain management in Bangladesh and the influence of the Flood Action Plan. Environmental Hazards, 9 (1). pp. 26-42. ISSN 1747-7891

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Abstract

Institutional arrangements are a key issue for sustainable natural resource management. Recent water and fisheries management projects in Bangladesh have established new local institutions for floodplain management based on community organizations. Although the Flood Action Plan (FAP) was the culmination of an earlier emphasis on technical and structural `solutions' to managing floods and water in Bangladesh, the expected large engineering works were never built. One legacy of FAP lies in a contested process that accelerated emphasis on public participation, smaller scale hazard adjustments and maintaining a wider range of floodplain resource values including conserving and restoring fisheries. This paper compares institutional arrangements and outcomes in two fisheries and two water management projects taken up after FAP. Local organizations appeared generally successful in sustaining themselves and continuing floodplain resource management. Facilitation, the extent of consensus among different stakeholders, and fit between institutional arrangements and scale of resource were all important influences on effectiveness. Local organizations have sustained in smaller floodplains, but in larger areas co-management bodies were a key to effective coordination and troubleshooting among a series of linked community organizations. Local leaders tend to dominate after projects end, especially where planning was less participatory and organizational structures were determined from above. Participants stressed that for continued success formally recognized well-run organizations are needed with accountable and adaptable decision-making processes and good leaders. This process built on participatory guidelines from FAP but the local institutions have not addressed hazard risks. Community resource management institutions could develop a more integrated approach that internalizes the interactions between water, land and fishery management. So far, local planning for floods has been a notable gap in the activities of community institutions, but the enhanced social capital could be a basis for adaptation to climate change. For this, an enabling policy environment is needed, which could be facilitated by the open high-profile debate on floodplain issues that characterized FAP.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):community; fisheries; institutions; participation
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Citations on ISI Web of Science:1
ID Code:4979
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Deposited On:19 Apr 2010 09:33
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:50

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