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Durham e-Theses
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Political ecology of environmental crises in Bangladesh

Sanyal, Nandini (2006) Political ecology of environmental crises in Bangladesh. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Abstract: Bangladesh suffers from a range of crises affecting its human and non-human environments. The issues are widely discussed, with corrective policies proposed and implemented, but the results so far have not been satisfactory. The main reasons for this failure of governance can be traced to the fact that environmental problems are examined mainly on the basis of neo-malthusian, neo-colonial and apolitical modes, and they are rarely contextualised in a wider framework. The present thesis is something of a new departure. It assesses three different types of environmental crises in Bangladesh, namely (i) shrimp farming and its consequential impacts on local environment and society in the south-western and south-eastern parts of Bangladesh, (іі) the impacts of deforestation and afforestation issues on women in the Modhupur forest located in the central parts of the country, and (ііі) degradation of food safety and quality issues in Bangladesh. The theoretical frameworks of political ecology and feminist political ecology are deployed in assessing these problems. The research is mainly based on secondary data collected in the UK and Bangladesh. Limited field data were also collected through group discussions with the women of Modhupur about the impact of deforestation and afforestation and informal interviews with government and NGO officials on the food quality degradation issues. I was able to collect literature on shrimp cultivation and on deforestation issues from Bangladesh but struggled with data collection on the food quality crisis. Academic research on food quality issues are almost absent although plenty of articles have been published in the news and print media. The results suggest that the problems are not simple but rather the outcome of a number of multifaceted factors which are deeply rooted in the economic, social, political and cultural settings of Bangladesh. Attempts for capital accumulation and profit maximization by different actors are found to be the major factors behind the environmental breakdown in all the case studies. It is revealed that the issues examined in this study have had profound impacts on the natural environment and also on the vulnerable sections of society, especially women. The three crises are narrated, the actions of different actors are identified, contextual driving forces for the individual case studies are explored and the local to global links of the issues are established.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:56

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