New Progress in Ecological Assessment and Integrated Management of the Coastal Zone of Bay of Bengal by Research Center for Marine Environment Management & Sustainable Development of TIO

Titled “Occurrence, spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of trace elements in surface sediments of rivers and coastal areas of the East Coast of Bangladesh, north-East Bay of Bengal” and “Economic Valuation and conservation, Restoration & Management strategies of Saint Martin’s Coral Island, Bangladesh”, the studies by Research Center for Marine Environment Management & Sustainable Development of Third Institute of Oceanography (TIO), Ministry of Natural Resources(MNR), China were accepted for publication by top of JCR zone I, Science of the Total Environment (impact factor: 7.963), and absolute authority in the area of ocean management, Ocean and Coastal Management (impact factor: 3.284). Seema Rani is the first author of both papers and a recipient of the Chinese Government Marine Scholarship Program, co-supervised by Professor Chen Keliang of TIO-MNR and Professor Xue Xiongzhi of Xiamen University.

Over the last 20 years, developing countries like Bangladesh have undergone tremendous rapid industrialization and urbanization, which makes this study imperious and urgent, adding that the systematic identification of the main factors causing environmental and ecological risks will contribute to the effective management strategies for sustainable development. The current study is the first of its kind in Bangladesh, to quantify the concentrations of some potentially toxic elements in surficial sediments from the major coastal rivers and estuaries as well as to assess the ecological risk in the East Coast of Bangladesh. The results indicate that there is a potential risk of toxic element contamination in the sedimentary environment of the east coast of Bangladesh (Fig. 1) . The present study of TIO reveals that the lack of water quality guidelines in Bangladesh for the coastal, estuarine and marine water escalated the dumping of untreated wastewater, which is in need of immediate measures to address the ecological risks allowing effective management program.

Fig. 1 Spatial distribution of trace metals in surface sediments of rivers and coastal areas of east coast of Bangladesh

Saint Martin’s is the only place where coral grows in Bangladesh. The study team is the first to measure the direct and indirect economic value of resources and will benefit protection and management policies for conserving the island and contributing to the country’s overall protection of coral reefs. In addition, Management and restoration activities of coral reefs around the globe, are usually focused on recovering the bio-physical characteristics of the coral reef ecosystem, but rarely think of how to recover the socioecological and ecosystem services. Current research, proposes a conceptual coupled framework; which can lead to better societal outcomes from restoration activities, while restoring bio-physical-chemical, social and ecosystem service of coral reefs systems (Fig. 2) .

Fig. 2 Coupled socio-ecological-political-restoration-management framework

TIO-MNR has launched its practical collaboration with Bangladesh for 8 years since 2014, with auspices of Ministry of Natural Resources, P.R.C., University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute, and University of Chittagong. The research work was funded by the Project Sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation of TIO-MNR (No. 2020008) and National Key Research and Development Programme (Grant No. 2017YFC1405100) for the financial assistance to carry out the research. Partial funding also came from the Ministry of Natural Resources of People's Republic of China under the project“Sino-Bangla Marine Cooperation and Exchange”.

Link of Paper 1: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969721048579

Link of Paper 2: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0964569119303217

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