Bangladesh has a total land surface of 12.31 million hectares with a population size of 142.3 million and projected to grow to 242.9 million by the year 2050. The per capita availability of land for agricultural production is about 0.07 hectares. It is diminishing with the increase in population and conversion of agricultural land to urbanization, industrial estate, brickfields, roads and highway and other infrastructural growth. On an average Bangladesh is losing about 82,000 hectares of cultivable land annually. In Bangladesh the extent of land degradation estimates that nearly 5.0 million hectares of land that falls below the threshold for sustainable cultivation, and moderate to severe drought spread over 5.46 million hectares of land. Bangladesh has experienced droughts of major magnitude in 1973, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1992, 1994, and 1995.
The National Environment Policy, 1992 embraces 15 development sectors relevant to air, water, land degradation, soil erosions, and other environmental issues. In pursuance of the policy, National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) recognized links between environmental degradation, poverty, and population growth. National Forest Policy 1994, National Water Policy 1999, National Agriculture Policy 1999, National Land Use Policy 2001, all aim to ensure land use in harmony with the natural environment and to check land degradation and proverty eradiction. Further the Environment Policy 1992 emphasizes to work in harmony with global community to address environmental problems at all levels from local to global level. Land degradation and drought pose serious threat to our food and water security. To cope with current situation Bangladesh needs to work with global community.
Having background of UNCCD with main objective to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in the affected countries through effective action at all levels with international support and cooperation the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) signed UNCCD in 1994 and ratified in 1996. As per obligation of the convention Bangladesh has formulated NAP in 2005. In the NAP eight thematic areas has been identified to address of Desertification Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD). Meanwhile socioeconomic and environmental conditions of the country have been changed and newer issues have been evolved. To address DLDD issues under changing situation, updating NAP became essential. Besides that Parties are obliged to report regularly on implementation of the Convention to combat desertification.
Following decision 3/COP 8, The secretariat of UNCCD formulated 10-Year Strategic plan (2008-2018) in order to escalate implementation of the Convention on the globe in a consistent manner. To support smooth implementation of the strategy, the Conference of Parties (COP) decided (decision 2/COP 9) to align NAP. Of course, updated NAP should be pragmatic.
Further, there is provision for reporting on implementation of the Convention. Two consecutive reporting cycle is included in this project. This project will help meeting reporting obligation as well as alignment of NAP with the 10-year Strategic Plan.