Description/achievement of initiative
The Management of Aquatic Ecosystems through Community Husbandry (MACH) program was initiated in 1998 to reverse the trends of wetlands degradation and a concentration of income among a handful of leaseholders in Bangladesh.
Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011
The Management of Aquatic Ecosystems through Community Husbandry (MACH) program was initiated in 1998 to reverse the trends of wetlands degradation and a concentration of income among a handful of leaseholders in Bangladesh. MACH advocates a multi-disciplinary, multi-sector and participatory process of planning, implementation and monitoring for sustainable wetland resource management. One of the key building blocks to the MACH approach for sustainable wetland management was establishing Resource Management Organizations (RMOs), each of which represents all the stakeholder groups for a particular part of the wetland system.
The RMOs have worked to protect water bodies, to address problems identified by the communities in these areas, which have involved setting rules and limits on use, and restoring wetland habitat including tree planting. To offset the hardships caused by fishing restrictions, poor households also receive skills training and micro-loans to start new enterprises. The MACH program's success is rooted in community self-interest and ownership. MACH programs are being implemented by four non-government organizations including Winrock International, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, the Center for Natural Resources Studies and CARITAS- Bangladesh.
The benefits of the program are as follows:
- Average daily household incomes increased by 33 percent between 1999 and 2006;
- Sixty-three sanctuaries established, covering 178 hectares, 57 ha of beel wetland and 31 km of water channels excavated;
- Over 2 million days of local employment created;
- Average daily household incomes rose by a third to US$1.31 between 1999 and 2006;
- Wetlands were restocked with 1.2 million fish from 15 native species, including 8 threatened fish species and two locally extinct species;
- Members of 5,202 wetland-dependent households received training and credit to start new livelihoods;
- Between 1999 and 2006, fish catches in project villages rose by 140% and fish consumption rose by 52%;
- Improved participation of women in workforce and local decision-making processes.