The world’s largest mangrove forest named Sundarban is located in the Bay of Bengal. Due to richness of aqua and forest resources, the coastal community of Khulna district of Bangladesh immensely depends on the forest for income and livelihoods, all the year round. For extracting resources, thousands of people enter into the forest by crossing river, generally with small boats. The region faces various natural disasters repeatedly. Each year about 13-14 cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal, which are threats for coastal households. Those hazards bear more risk for marine entrants. Analyzing coastal households’ marine access for two warning periods from a survey, we show that various personal and familial characteristics, and forest dependency are associated with marine access during warning periods. Deficient, delayed and confusing warning weather information can cause higher marine access even during warning signal periods. In the similar way, lack of knowledge on warning weather can also increase risky marine entry during warning signals. In this context, easy availability of warning weather information and knowledge development may help households in making right decisions about marine access, especially during warning signal periods. We conducted a field experiment to investigate the effects of information and knowledge on marine access during warning weather periods. Using micro-level survey data, in repeated experiment settings on the Sundarban dependent coastal households in Bangladesh, we show that receiving on-time weather information significantly reduces households’ marine access during warning signal periods, if information is reliable. Information from unknown sources do not affect marine access significantly, probably because of distrust. Receiving training on warning weather significantly reduces marine access during warning signals but the effect fades out over time. Receiving both treatments (information and training combined) also significantly reduces marine access. The treatment exerts higher effect than solely receiving warning weather information. We also notice positive spillover of the treatments that significantly reduce neighbors’ marine access during warning weather periods.
|Date of Award
|23 Oct 2020
|Fuhai HONG (Supervisor) & Matthieu Daniel CROZET (Supervisor)