Bangladesh (; Bengali: বাংলাদেশ, pronounced [ˈbaŋlaˌdeʃ] (listen)), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million people in an area of either 148,460 square kilometres (57,320 sq mi) or 147,570 square kilometres (56,980 sq mi), making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast; to the south it has a coastline along the Bay of Bengal. It is narrowly separated from Bhutan and Nepal by the Siliguri Corridor; and from China by 100 km of the Indian state of Sikkim in the north. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's economic, political, and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city. The official language is Bengali, one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family.
Bangladesh forms the sovereign part of the historic and ethnolinguistic region of Bengal, which was divided during the Partition of India in 1947. The country has a Bengali Muslim majority. Ancient Bengal was an important cultural centre in the Indian subcontinent as the home of the states of Vanga, Pundra, Gangaridai, Gauda, Samatata, and Harikela. The Mauryan, Gupta, Pala, Sena, Chandra and Deva dynasties were the last pre-Islamic rulers of Bengal. The Muslim conquest of Bengal began in 1204 when Bakhtiar Khalji overran northern Bengal and invaded Tibet. Becoming part of the Delhi Sultanate, three city-states emerged in the 14th century with much of eastern Bengal being ruled from Sonargaon. Sufi missionary leaders like Sultan Balkhi, Shah Jalal and Shah Makhdum Rupos helped in spreading Muslim rule. The region was unified into an independent, unitary Bengal Sultanate. Under Mughal rule, eastern Bengal continued to prosper as the melting pot of Muslims in the eastern subcontinent and attracted traders from around the world. Mughal Bengal became increasingly assertive and independent under the Nawabs of Bengal in the 18th century. In 1757, the betrayal of Mir Jafar resulted in the defeat of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah to the British East India Company and eventual British dominance across South Asia. The Bengal Presidency grew into the largest administrative unit in British India. The creation of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905 set a precedent for the emergence of Bangladesh. In 1940, the first Prime Minister of Bengal supported the Lahore Resolution with the hope of creating a state in eastern South Asia. Prior to the partition of Bengal, the Prime Minister of Bengal proposed a Bengali sovereign state. A referendum and the announcement of the Radcliffe Line established the present-day territorial boundary of Bangladesh.
In 1947, East Bengal became the most populous province in the Dominion of Pakistan. It was renamed as East Pakistan with Dhaka becoming the country's legislative capital. The Bengali Language Movement in 1952; the East Bengali legislative election, 1954; the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état; the Six point movement of 1966; and the 1970 Pakistani general election resulted in the rise of Bengali nationalism and pro-democracy movements in East Pakistan. The refusal of the Pakistani military junta to transfer power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led to the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, in which the Mukti Bahini aided by India waged a successful armed revolution. The conflict saw the 1971 Bangladesh genocide and the massacre of pro-independence Bengali civilians, including intellectuals. The new state of Bangladesh became the first constitutionally secular state in South Asia in 1972. Islam was declared the state religion in 1988. In 2010, the Bangladesh Supreme Court reaffirmed secular principles in the constitution.
Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic based on the Westminster system. Bengalis make up 99% of the total population of Bangladesh, and the large Muslim population of Bangladesh makes it the third-largest Muslim-majority country. The country consists of eight divisions, 64 districts and 495 subdistricts. It maintains the third-largest military in South Asia after India and Pakistan; and has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. A middle power in the Indo-Pacific, Bangladesh is an emerging economy ranked as the 41st-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the 30th-largest by PPP. It hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world due to the Rohingya genocide. Bangladesh faces many challenges, including the adverse effects of climate change, poverty, illiteracy, corruption, demonstrations, and authoritarianism. However, the poverty rate has halved since 2011. Once a historic center of the muslin cloth trade, Bangladesh is now one of the world's largest modern garment exporters. Its economy has constantly been among the fastest growing economies in the 21st century.
Sea level rise[edit | edit source]
Societies can adapt to sea level rise in three different ways: implement managed retreat, accommodate coastal change, or protect against sea level rise through hard-construction practices like seawalls or soft approaches such as dune rehabilitation and beach nourishment. Sometimes these adaptation strategies go hand in hand, but at other times choices have to be made among different strategies. For some human environments, such as so called sinking cities, adaptation to sea level rise may be compounded by other environmental issues such as subsidence. Natural ecosystems typically adapt to rising sea levels by moving inland; however, they might not always be able to do so, due to natural or artificial barriers. W
Land projected to be below annual flood level in 2030 and beyond, coastal.climatecentral.org
Sea Level Rise, information from climatecentral.org
Climate action[edit | edit source]
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
Environment quality[edit | edit source]
Communities online[edit | edit source]
The InfoLadies of Bangladesh carry a netbook computer and medical supplies on their bicycle and cycle from village to village dail, giving millions of poor people access to crucial information to improve their health and lives.
They use information from the internet info to teach hygiene, help in childbirth, share information about common health problems and crops, and more.
Community energy[edit | edit source]
Wind power[edit | edit source]
Wind energy or wind power is being used in Bangladesh to combat the country's dependence on Natural Gas. Grameen Shakti plans to make renovations for the wind powered plants on the coastal areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh's Local Government Engineering Department established that the annual wind speed in the coastal belt ranges from 2.96 meters per second to 4.54 meters per second.
With 90 percent of Bangladesh's electricity produced by natural gas, an alternative energy like wind power is being considered. Wind energy is cleaner and cheaper to maintain and does not create as much pollution as natural gas. Bangladesh has a 724 kilometer long coastline and also has many small islands that are capable of collecting strong winds provided by it's northeast region and winter month breezes.
Food activism[edit | edit source]
School gardening[edit | edit source]
Small-scale fish farming in Bangladesh[edit | edit source]
For many people in Bangladesh small-scale fish farming is an important opportunity to generate income and is a significant nutritional source providing protein-rich food all year round. It comprises of a range of options that can be adapted to suit the needs and capacity of people living in rural Bangladesh.
The two approaches commonly implemented on a small scale are:
- Local pond fish farming
- Open water fish farming in lakes, rivers, dams and reservoirs
The benefit to low-income farmers is that they are able to invest in fish cultivation when there is sufficient income, which will then be able to generate additional income and food when other sources of income are limited.
Much of Bangladesh is flooded annually during the monsoon season as water flows into the country through the Ganga (Ganges), Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. This provides an extensive range of habitats for wild and cultivated fish species. Fish catches are highest after the monsoon rains when supplies of other foods, such as rice, are low. With so much water, fishing plays a vital role in the economy of rural villages.
Other initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Solar cooking resources in Bangladesh on Wikia:solarcooking
Social inclusion[edit | edit source]
Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Maps[edit | edit source]
Research[edit | edit source]
News and comment[edit | edit source]
see separate article: Bangladesh news
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References[edit | edit source]