The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, tucked among rivers that spill into the Bay of Bengal, is one of the world’s largest mangrove forests. Honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ecological importance and cultural value to South Asia, the Sundarbans represent the vivid tapestry of Bangladeshi culture. Traditional Resource Users (TRU) such as fisherman, honey collectors and woodsmen have worked the land for years and carry with them abundant generational knowledge of the forest. This knowledge, however, has remained inaccessible to the thousands of ecological tourists and cultural artists who visit the forest each year. This project, supported by the European Union, works to build respect for the significance of the Sundarbans through development of cultural tourism and entrepreneurship.
Key objectives include:
- Ecotourism development training for government officials, local NGO representatives, and private tour guides from the local community
- Skills training for 200 community members who would educate tourists about local culture and the importance of mangrove conservation
- Building respect for cultural groups and the critical Sundarbans environment