Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for Effective Law Enforcement Monitoring in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, Bangladesh

@GIZ BD/Fahad Kaizer
Published: 14 June 2021
Last edited: 14 June 2021
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Summary

SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is an evidence-based data collection and reporting system for wildlife and forestry law enforcement monitoring. SMART is a combination of software, training materials and implementation standards for systematic law enforcement and monitoring patrols. SMART is designed to improve anti-poaching efforts and overall law enforcement effectiveness in established conservation areas and management zones. Since June 2016, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sundarbans Management Project  SMP (jointly implemented by GIZ and Bangladesh Forest Department and funded by the German Federal Government) initiated SMART patrols across the whole Sundarbans. SMP initiated capacity development efforts with basic and advanced skill development of individual BFD staff on SMART’s application, data analysis, report generation, interpretation of findings, as well as setting standard protocols for practising SMART patrolling in the Sundarbans.

Classifications

Region
South Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Ecosystem
Mangrove
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Theme
Fisheries and aquaculture
Forest Management
Legal & policy frameworks
Outreach & communications
Poaching and environmental crime
Protected area management planning
Species management
World Heritage
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity
Poaching
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 13: Safeguarding genetic diversity

Location

Dhangmari Khal, Dacope, Khulna District, Khulna, Bangladesh | All four Forest Ranges in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest i.e. Chandpai, Sarankhola, Khulna and Sathkhira
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Challenges

Wildlife poaching, fishing using illegal gears, illicit tree cutting are the biggest challenges in the Sundarbans. Traditional forest patrolling were unable to generate expected quality information on observations/threats. It was also difficult for managers to monitor patrol efforts of their staffs. Information generated through traditional patrols was also inadequate to use for adaptive management. Limited capacity/skills of frontline staffs and lack of proper knowledge on applicable laws/rules couldn’t produce expected patrolling outcomes. A very complex resource management in the Sundarbans with the provisions of seasonal ban, species ban, area ban etc. makes the situation even worse for the frontline staffs .

Moreover, inadequate data (forest crime/biodiversity hotspots, offender database), absence of standardized patrolling protocols and digitalized records, and data gathering devices, inadequate logistics/allocations impeded successful patrol planning and implementation.

Beneficiaries

Frontline staffs of Bangladesh Forest Department and PA Managers and resource users

How do the building blocks interact?

SMP standardized SMART protocols for Sundarbans including operating procedures, harmonized data models, training curricula in the form of government approved handbook vis-à-vis continually made efforts to build capacity of BFD staffs in patrolling, data gathering, analysis and reporting and eventually fed the findings into decision making for adaptive management. Government remained highly convinced and committed to do needful for its success since piloting efforts in the Sundarbans. BFD has established SMART as an adaptive management tool and envisioned to introduce SMART in all the protected areas of the country. Government’s commitments, standardized protocols and continual capacity enhancement efforts have collectively interacted and built the blocks towards successful enrollment of SMART patrolling in the Sundarbans and providing insights to adaptive management.

Impacts

SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is an evidence-based data collection and reporting system for wildlife and forestry law enforcement monitoring. SMART is a combination of software, training materials and implementation standards for systematic law enforcement and monitoring patrols. SMART is designed to improve anti-poaching efforts and overall law enforcement effectiveness in established conservation areas and management zones. SMART patrolling was piloted in part of the Satkhira Range of Sundarbans. Since June 2016, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Sundarbans Management Project – SMP (jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für

Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Bangladesh Forest Department – BFD and funded by the German Federal Government) initiated SMART patrols across the whole Sundarbans. SMP initiated capacity development efforts with basic and advanced skill development of individual BFD staff on SMART’s application, data analysis, report generation, interpretation of findings, as well as setting standard protocols for practising SMART patrolling in the Sundarbans.

Story

@GIZ BD/Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD)

Mr. Belal Hossain joined Sundarbans Reserved Forests on 19/09/2016 as a Forester without having any idea of SMART patrolling. He was immediately posted in Burigolaini Station of Satkhira Range of Sundarbans West Division as Station Officer.

He received his first basic training on Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) patrolling in June 2017 from the Sundarbans Management Project (SMP) implemented jointly by BFD and GIZ. He joined his first SMART patrol in the Sundarbans as a team leader of Satkhira SMART Patrol Team -2 in January 2018. Since then he has led 4 SMART teams in the Sundarbans and spent over 40 days in SMART patrolling in the Sundarbans. But the major shift in his career took place in July 2018 when he took over the role of SMART data coordinator for the whole SRF. SMART data coordinator for the SRF is responsible for reviewing and compiling all exported patrol data; drafting a combined monthly report on SMART patrols for the whole SRF with recommendations; presenting the SMART monthly report in front of the SMART enforcement committee and after finalization of the SMART report storing all documents (hard and soft copies).

Since then Mr. Hossain already drafted and finalized 20 SMART monthly reports and 2 SMART annual reports for the whole SRF. Right now, Mr. Hossain is continuing his role as SMART data coordinator for SRF along with his main function as Station Officer of Kobadak Forest Station and Team Leader of Satkhira SMART patrol team -2.

“Working with SMART has given me the confidence to carry out multiple tasks with efficiency and greatly enhanced my presentation skills. Tracing and dealing with offences became easier in the Sundarbans with introduction of SMART” said Mr. Hossain when he was asked what the main contribution of SMART in his career is. Mr. Hossain is a very confident Forester now and received several other trainings from SMP and other project of BFD including an exposure visit to India.

Contributed by

Panchanon Kumar Dhali Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Other contributors

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH