So I’m jumping on the blog-bandwagon. I figured that for the next year while I’m out of the country in Bangladesh, instead of bothering people with a flood of impersonal mass emails, I would post it all in a one of these hip and trendy blog thingies, so that those interested could read about my life as they pleased. I have an affinity towards digression and half of what I write will probably be more like journal entries for myself to reread one day than anything else... but enjoy...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Life in the Hill Country

The title of the project I am working on is the Chittagong Hill Tracts Improved Natural Resource Mmanagement (CHARM). There is a bit of an overview at www.charmbd.com. I got to go to the Inception Workshop in Rangamati on Feb 16-17. It was an enlightening experience to see the coming together of many relavent stakeholders to discuss development issues in the CHT and figure out where there may be overlaps with other project. There was also technical group brainstorming sessions held, discussing what the major environmental issues are, the major limiting factors to land management in agriculture/forestry, capability of existing institutions to practice NRM, and types of information to disseminate to stakeholders (indigenous farmers practicing traditional Jhum slash and burn cultivation and the forest department).

The last day I got to do some field work with our consultants from the Netherlands and head CHT soil scientist for the Department of Agriculture, trekking around with a GPS unit documenting agricultural practices and getting a sense of the landscape, soils, etc. And had a lil time to take absolutely surreal boat ride across Kaptai Lake. It was kind of strange that there was 5 or 6 of us taking the boat ride and 5 or 6 fully-armed military guards on the boat as well.

































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