PARTNERING FOR RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
The Bay of Bengal Ocean Stewardship program aims to address three key challenges to reduce the climate vulnerabilities of the coastal communities living in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone of Bay of Bengal countries; (i) the poor state of community stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems; (ii) inadequate capacity of conservation workforce to facilitate locally-led conservation; and (iii) the lack of trans-boundary institutional collaboration to adopt LME approach in conservation.
The program will enable national and local organizations to create trained workforce and build ocean literate citizenry for trans-boundary stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems. This program has been conceived and developed at Georgia Sea Grant and Marine Extension based at the University of Georgia as part of ‘Community Solution Program’ fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
As a Community Solutions Program Fellow (2017-18) at Georgia Sea Grant, I have developed this program. This current preparatory phase is six-month long and planned as a launch-pad for the envisaged partnership based platform which will be a permanent program. I am working as the Facilitator for the preparatory phase.
Overall term: 2018 to 2020 (Preparatory phase: January – June 2018)
Host Organization: Georgia Sea Grant and Marine Extension, University of Georgia
Supervisor: Dr. Mark Risse, Director
Mentor: Dr. Mona Behl, Associate Director
Facilitator: Md Kutub Uddin (Mohammad Arju), CSP Fellow 2017-18
Home Organization: Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative
Co-executing agencies: Global Youth Biodiversity Network; Department of Fisheries Biology and Genetics, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU)
Trans-boundary collaborators: EarthLanka (Sri Lanka), Zoo Outreach Organization (India), Riverine People (Bangladesh), Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (Myanmar), Organization for Social Orientation (Bangladesh)
Volunteer Facilitators of training and outreah for the Preparatory Phase:
Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique, Trustee, Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative
Kazi Ahsan Habib, Professor and Chairman, Fisheries Biology and Genetics Department, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU)
Swetha Stotra Bhashyam, GYBN Global South Focal Point
Currently, the program is offering three types of collaborating learning and action forums for diverse stakeholders in Bangladesh
A. ‘Living Coast’ Series: This is a thinking-hub series for public officials, businesses, and experts about rebuilding coastal cities as Ocean-friendly; to be engaged in intensive dialogue and deliver knowledge outputs for sustainable urbanization and climate resilience. The big question is how urban planning and housing will deal with the new realities of sea level rise and increasing extreme weather events in rapidly growing coastal cities.
B. Ocean Guardian Workshop: Participants-led learning forum to successfully plan, build and implement Ocean conservation and climate action initiatives in local neighborhood, community, and campus. Designed for students and young community leaders; and primarily focused on Ocean and climate literacy.
C. Blue Solutions Workshop: This workshop offers collaborative learning experience and mentoring for students to develop solutions for climate resilience and biodiversity mainstreaming through achieving SDG goals 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.