Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Their Drivers of Change under Human-Dominated Pressure—The Meghna River Estuary of Bangladesh

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/329338

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Miah, M.Y.; Hossain, M.M.; Schneider, P.; Mozumder, M.M.H.; Mitu, S.J.; Shamsuzzaman, M.M. Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Their Drivers of Change under Human-Dominated Pressure—The Meghna River Estuary of Bangladesh. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4458.

Title: Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Their Drivers of Change under Human-Dominated Pressure—The Meghna River Estuary of Bangladesh
Author: Miah, Mohammad Yusuf; Hossain, Mohammad Mosarof; Schneider, Petra; Mozumder, Mohammad Mojibul Hoque; Mitu, Sabrina Jannat; Shamsuzzaman, Md. Mostafa
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-04-16
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/329338
Abstract: The Meghna river estuary has had substantial importance in supporting the coastal community’s livelihood for decades, but the pressure on it is immense due to many anthropogenic drivers. The present study aimed to assess its ecosystem services (ES) according to the framework of the standard international classification of ecosystem services (CICES). This study also identified the drivers, pressure, state, impact, and responses (DPSIR), and the factors responsible for ES changes in the Meghna river estuarine ecosystems. By merging both quantitative and qualitative data, a total of 19 sub-categories of ES were found, among which eight are provisioning, seven are regulatory, and four are cultural services, according to the CICES framework. From the results, it can be concluded that food provisioning from the Hilsha fishery, the national fish as a part of cultural heritage, and nursery habitat functions were the top provisional, regulatory, and cultural services to the society in the study areas and beyond. However, several threats and stressors of both anthropogenic and natural origins were identified as drivers of ES changes, such as overexploitation, destructive and illegal fishing, heavy river bed siltation, and natural hazards such as extreme cyclonic events, floods, and sea levels rising. This study underlines the urgency of research and policy attention to address the challenges, and of transforming management regimes to an ecosystem-based approach, which is part of nature-based solutions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which refers to the present case, and particularly to fishery co-management. Creating alternative income sources and raising community awareness regarding the importance of maintaining the healthy condition of the river basins, and comprehensive compliance with the rules and regulations are proposed in order to ensure these estuarine ecosystems’ sustainability.


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