USAID Launches New $20 Million Protibesh Climate Change and Environmental Conservation Project

USAID’s Ecosystems Protibesh project will bring together key government ministries and communities to protect forests, wetlands, and wildlife in northeastern and southwestern
regions of Bangladesh.

Dhaka, May 11, 2022 — Yesterday (Tuesday) USAID Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming Isobel Coleman and the Honorable Minister of Planning M.A. Mannan MP jointly launched the new five-year $20 million USAID Ecosystems Protibesh project to protect critical forests and wetland areas in Bangladesh from degradation. They were joined by officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change; the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock; and the Ministry of Land, including the Department of Fisheries, Department of Environment, and the Bangladesh Forest Department.

Protibesh targets the Sundarbans mangrove forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site home to the Royal Bengal tiger, and forest and freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Sylhet border region in northeastern Bangladesh. The project will help communities build long term climate resilience by adopting climate-smart agriculture approaches and learning business skills to diversify and increase their incomes, moving away from reliance on forest resources for livelihoods.

The new Protibesh program builds on a long-standing partnership between USAID, the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and local community leaders to protect and sustainably manage the country’s biologically rich landscapes and ecosystems. Applying lessons learned, it will strengthen environmental governance and sustainable forest and wetland management. Protibesh will be locally led by community members and GOB counterparts. As a result of Protibesh conservation and climate adaptation and mitigation activities, Bangladesh will be able to combat the effects of climate change, protect the country’s critical natural resources––a rich source of life and livelihoods for the people of Bangladesh––and build resilience to climate-induced natural disasters.

Over the past 25 years, USAID has worked closely with Bangladesh to combat climate change and strengthen environmental conservation. Over this period, USAID has worked with local communities and Government of Bangladesh officials to protect more than 2.5 million acres of wetlands and forest areas. With Bangladesh among USAID target countries in USAID’s Climate Strategy, USAID is working to substantially reduce carbon emissions and help countries adapt to the climate crisis.