Last Updated 25 Mar 2020

Natural Resources of Bangladesh

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Bangladesh is largely ethnically homogeneous. Indeed, its name derives from the Bengali ethno-linguistic group, which comprises 98% of the population. Bengalis, who also predominate in the West Bengal province of India, are one of the most populous ethnic groups in the world. Variations in Bengali culture and language do exist of course. There are many dialects of Bengali spoken throughout the region. The dialect spoken by those in Chittagong and Sylhet are particularly distinctive. In 2009 the population was estimated at 156 million.

Religiously, about 90% of Bangladeshis are Muslims and the remainders are mostly Hindus. Bangladesh became one of the large nation states in 1971when it seceded from Pakistan. Prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, modern-day Bangladesh was part of ancient, classical, medieval and colonial India. Since independence, the government has experienced periods of democratic and military rule. The founding leader of the country and its first president was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His daughter Sheikh Hasina Wazed is currently the prime minister, as leader of the Awami League.

Physical features of Bangladesh Location & size Bangladesh is situated in southern Asia, on the delta of the 2 largest rivers on the Indian subcontinent—the Ganges and Jamuna (Brahmaputra). It borders with India in the west, north, and east, with Burma (also known as Myanmar) in the southeast, and with the Bay of Bengal in the south. The country's area is 144,000 square kilometers (55,598 square miles), and it is divided into 6 administrative divisions (Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal, Rajshai and Sylhet) and 4 major municipal corporations (Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi).

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Comparatively, the territory of Bangladesh is slightly greater than the state of New York. Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka, is located in the central part of the country. Bangladesh occupies the eastern part of the Bengal region (the western part of the region is occupied by the Indian state of West Bengal), which historically was part of the great civilizations in the northeast of the Indian subcontinent. Climate of Bangladesh Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon-type climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry winter.

January is the coolest month with temperatures averaging near 26 deg C (78 d F) and April the warmest with temperatures from 33 to 36 deg C (91 to 96 deg F). The climate is one of the wettest in the world. Most places receive more than 1,525 mm of rain a year, and areas near the hills receive 5,080 mm ). Most rains occur during the monsoon (June-September) and little in winter (November-February). Bangladesh is subject to devastating cyclones, originating over the Bay of Bengal, in the periods of April to May and September to November. Often accompanied by surging waves, these storms can cause great damage and loss of life.

The cyclone of November 1970, in which about 500,000 lives were lost in Bangladesh, was one of the worst natural disasters of the country in the 20th century. Bangladesh has warm temperatures throughout the year, with relatively little variation from month to month. January tends to be the coolest month and May the warmest. In Dhaka the average January temperature is about 19°C (about 66°F), and the average May temperature is about 29°C (about 84°F). Surface water inflow and river system of Bangladesh Surface Water made up of rivers, streams, lakes, beels and ponds.

In other words, all waters on the surface of the earth including fresh and salt water, ice and snow. In Bangladesh, rainfall and trans-boundary river flows are the main sources of surface water. Bangladesh has an average annual surface flow of about 1,073 million acre feet (MAF), of which about 870 MAF (93%) are received from India as inflow and rest 203 MAF (7%) as rainfall. This water is enough to cover the entire country to a depth of 9. 14m. About 132 MAF (65% of rainfall and 12% of total) are lost in evaporation (114. 30 cm) and the rest flows to the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh has about 700 rivers ncluding tributaries and distributaries, which crisis-cross the landscape and creates about 98,000 ha of inland water bodies and more than 24,000 km streams or water channels. Of these, 54 rivers, including the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, originate from India and 3 originate from Myanmar. About 93% catchment areas of these 58 rivers are beyond Bangladesh, while only 7% is in Bangladesh. During the dry season when irrigation is necessary, these rivers either flow at their lowest levels or become dry in the Bangladesh portion, due to upstream barrages, built in the upper riparian region.

The principal rivers of Bangladesh are the Padma, the Megna, The Jamuna, and the Brahamaputra. The Dhaleswari and the Karnafuli. Besides, there are many small rivers like the Buriganga, the Sitallakya, the Gumti, the Tista, the Atrai, the Kortoa, The Mohananda, the Madhumati and many others. They have tributaries as well. Improtance and usefulness: The rivers are of great help to us. Our agriculture depends on the rivers. The rivers supply water and make the land fertile by depositing silt. Thus they help to produce paddy, jute, wheat and many other crop. The rivers also help our irrigation.

Our rivers are a great source of wealth. The rivers abounded in fishes. Fish is an important food of our country. Many people earn their livelihood by catching fish in the rivers. Our rivers are important means for transport too. Boats, launches, steamers ply through them in all seasons. They carry passengers and goods from one place to another. These rivers also help our trade and commerce. Pattern of agriculture Bangladesh is primarily an agrarian economy. Agriculture is the single largest producing sector of economy since it comprises about 30% of the country's GDP and employing around 60% of the total labor force.

The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development and food security. Agricultural holdings in Bangladesh are generally small. Through Cooperatives the use of modern machinery is gradually gaining popularity. Rice, Jute, Sugarcane, Potato, Pulses, Wheat, Tea and Tobacco are the principal crops. The crop sub-sector dominates the agriculture sector contributing about 72% of total production. Fisheries, livestock and forestry sub-sectors are 10. 33%, 10. 11% and 7. 33% respectively. Bangladesh is the largest producer of Jute.

Rice being the staple food, its production is of major importance. Rice production stood at 20. 3 million tons in 1996-97 fiscal year. Crop diversification program, credit, extension and research, and input distribution policies pursued by the government are yielding positive results. The country is now on the threshold of attaining self-sufficiency in food grain production. Types of forest Forestry is a sub-sector of agriculture in Bangladesh, which makes a contribution to the national economy and is supposed to promote ecological stability. Although Bangladesh is amazingly green, it is a forest-poor country.

Most of its public forestlands are located in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, greater Khulna district, greater Sylhet district, Dhaka, Mymensingh and Tangail districts. Half of Bangladesh does not have public forests at all. Homestead forests seen around almost all households are important for the rural communities. They meet a significant portion of fuel wood need and house construction materials, among other things. Although it is estimated that Bangladesh has approximately 6% of its land covered with public forests, actually very little of natural forests is left today except for those in the Sundarbans in Khulna.

The plantations are not to be considered as forests. The three main types of public forests are: (i) Tropical evergreen or semi-evergreen forest in the eastern districts of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Sylhet, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts region; (ii) moist or dry deciduous forests also known as sal (Shorea robusta) forests located mainly in the central plains and the freshwater areas in the northwest region; and (iii) Tidal mangrove forests along the coast - the Sundarbans in the southwest of the Khulna and other mangrove patches in the Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Noakhali coastal belt. Mineral resources Although Bangladesh is a small country, it has a number of mineral resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, hard rock, limestone, white clay, glass sand and mineral sand. At present, natural gas is the only mineral commodity significantly contributing to the national economy. More than 90% of the country’s energy needs are met by gas, total reserves of which are 21. 35 trillion cubic feet (TCF) and 12. 43 TCF, respectively.

Huge reserves of hard rock (granodiorite, quartzdiorite, gneiss) and coal in northwest Bangladesh will help, in the near future, to meet the growing demand for construction materials and energy for the ever-growing population. Total coal reserves are 1753 million tons (MT), the market value of which is more than US$110 billion. Hard rock reserves are 115 million tons, valued at over US$3 billion. Fully fledged extraction of these resources would help to alleviate the country’s poverty through industrialization.

It is expected that coal will soon be extracted on a commercial basis, of which 70 to 80% will be used in power generation. The mineral resources so far found in Bangladesh are meagre in comparison to its high population. To meet the growing demand of the population, more mineral resources need to be discovered and developed, otherwise sustainable development cannot be achieved. However, it is difficult for developing countries like Bangladesh to carry out the necessary activities for exploration and exploitation of hidden mineral resources without foreign assistance. This is a major drawback for Bangladesh.

To progress towards an endurable sustainable society, a nation such as Bangladesh must give priority to the development of its existing mineral resources, which can play a major role in helping to reshape the country’s socio-economic infrastructure. Industrial set up In 1972, the year after its establishment, Bangladesh nationalized most of its industries and set up nine corporate conglomerates to oversee the state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The lack of commercial orientation inhibited investment and growth, including in the traditional jute industry, and the emerging leader, the garment industry.

From the mid-1980s, the government shifted to encouraging private investment, but the industrial sector remained closely regulated. In 1991, in the post-Cold War international environment, and with the end of military rule, the government inaugurated a new Industrial Policy planning investment liberalization, the interim restructuring of several large parastatals, as well as the gradual privatization of public enterprises in all but the airways, railways, and mining sectors.

Political resistance to privatization was very strong, and in the early 1990s restructuring resulted in some output decline. With a new government, in the period 1996–2001, 33 SOEs were sold by the state, but the Economist Intelligence Unit reported that these were smaller operations, and that the divestments did not significantly lessen the government's dominance of the industrial sector. Recent discoveries of large natural gas reserves and plans for new power plants throughout the country were slated to boost industrial growth in 2000 and beyond.

However, as of late 2002, plans for the development of natural gas resources continue to be delayed by political rows over the participation of foreign companies. Density and distribution of population In 2010, Bangladesh was estimated to be one of the ten most highly populated countries with an estimated population of just fewer than 160 million. This makes the population density of about 875 people per sq km (2,267 people per sq mi) higher than other countries.

Most of the population is young with about 60 percent under the age of 25, with only about 3 percent over the age of 65 (life expectancy is 61 years). Twenty percent of the population was deemed to be urban in 1998, making population of Bangladesh predominantly rural. Bengalis make up the majority of population of Bangladesh. They are descendants from immigrant Indo-Aryans who came from the west and intermarried with various Bengal groups.

The minority in Bangladesh is comprised of several groups, the Chakma and Mogh (Mongoloid people who live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts District), the Santal (migrants from India) and the Biharis (Muslims who came from India). Conclusion Though Bangladesh is a small country but it has great prospects. It can use its vast population as human resources. It is a beautiful country. It can make an effective use of it to attract tourists. To overcome obstacles to gain success in all sectors all people and govt. should be cooperative. Corruption, political resentment, indiscipline, dishonesty should be reduced by applying laws.

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Natural Resources of Bangladesh. (2017, Apr 09). Retrieved from

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