Potential of Peatlands in Bangladesh and Sustainable Management Strategy

Md. Rostom Ali

Abstract


Peat is an unconsolidated deposit of semi-carbonized plant matter. Peat is usually found in water-saturated environments and has certainly high moisture content. Haors are peat-dominated areas in Bangladesh, which hold the largest peat reserves of the country. Peat is one of the most important mineral resources worldwide. For the utilization of peat similar to other countries, it is necessary to know its energy and fertility potential and develop a sustainable management strategy for peatlands in Bangladesh. This study mainly focused on the heating and fertility potentials of peat in Bangladesh and on strategies to sustainably manage these peatlands. This study was carried out in the haor-based Katiadi and Mohanganj upazilas in the Kishoreganj and Netrokona districts of Bangladesh, respectively. After peat samples were collected, they were tested in several laboratories such as the Agrivarsity Humboldt Soil Testing Laboratory of the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) and Institute of Fuel Research and Development (IFRD), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Dhaka, Bangladesh. Selected physical properties of peat were also tested at the Green Energy Knowledge Hub at BAU. Based on the physical and chemical analysis of the collected peat, it has heating and organic fertility potentials. The calorific value of peat (2638 kcal/kg) is higher than that of cow dungs (1797 kcal/kg) and rice husk briquettes (2546 kcal/kg).Minor-scale rural haor communities use peat as domestic cooking fuel and supply for small agrofarms. In some agrofarms, ingredients, such as animal manure, are mixed with the peat to balance organic fertilizer. Our analysis indicates that peat might be used for different purposes, especially for brick fields, which reduces deforestation and saves the environment. The Government of Bangladesh should design a major peat development program to determine systematic approaches for the sustainable use of peat and peatlands in Bangladesh.


Keywords


Haor; peat; heating potential; organic fertilizer; peatland management; Bangladesh

Full Text:

PDF