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Mechanism for Protecting the Rights and Interests of Natural Resource Assets: An Analysis of Blue Economy of Bangladesh

Author(s): Md. Ziaul Islam

The Bay of Bengal is blessed with rich coastal and marine ecosystems which is a major hotspot centre of many living and non-living natural resources. Around 511 marine species, together with shrimps, exist within Bangladeshi waters [1]. A 714 km long coastal area and 166,000 km2 of the Bay of Bengal support large artisanal and coastal fisheries. Preserving the rights and interests of natural resources amid climate change, economic and financial uncertainty and the growing competition for consuming natural resources is a big challenge for developing country like Bangladesh. To combat these challenges for a sustainable economy, an integrated and inclusive response is required. Protecting the rights and interests of natural resource assets particularly in the oceans, seas and costs; the Blue Economy strategy was formulated in 2012. It is to be noted that oceans provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihoods and are the means of transport for 80% of global trade [2]. So, it is very urgent to ensure healthy oceans for global food security, livelihoods and economic growth. Costal countries like Bangladesh are burdened with high rate of unemployment and resources crunch. With a view to evading such material problems, the coastal and island countries adopted the blue economy strategy and paved the way of promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. After the long-waited decision of the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) regarding the Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime boundary, 2012 and the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal of the UNCLOS on India-Bangladesh maritime boundary, 2014 established sovereign rights on more than 118,813 km2 area of territorial sea and 200 Nautical Miles (NM) of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and all kinds of living and non-living resources under the continental shelf up to 354 nautical miles from the Chittagong coast [3].

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