NANO alumni publication: MPA zoning integrating socio-ecological data in the South East coast of Bangladesh

NANO Alumni Subrata Sarker and colleagues published the following article in the Marine Policy Journal 

MPA zoning integrating socio-ecological data in the South East coast of Bangladesh

Sarker, S. et al. (2021) Marine Policy Journal. DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104736


Marine protected area (MPA) is an effective tool for protecting critical coastal and marine habitats to recover, conserve and enhance species diversity, and build ecosystems resilience to environmental change. Having a biodiversity rich maritime area of 118,813 km2, Bangladesh is facing the challenges of environmental change and over exploitation. Thus, conservation efforts are urgently needed for the coastal and marine ecosystems of Bangladesh. Taking this into account this study aims at assessing the suitability of the Saint Martin – Teknaf Peninsula of south-east coastal zone of Bangladesh to delineate as MPA considering four protection levels (i.e. no entry – no take zone; entry – no take zone; partial reserve and general reserve zones). Primary data on socioeconomic status, biodiversity and habitat condition were collected through a year-long field observation. We used the spatial multiple-criteria analysis technique to determine the suitability of the Saint Martin – Teknaf Peninsula to declare as MPA. We found that local communities are mainly involved with fishing and tourism based activities for their livelihoods. The study also found about 900 species which includes critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. Both social and biodiversity data suggest that conservation efforts are urgently required for the Saint Martin – Teknaf Peninsula. Present study identified 2992.29 km2 potential area of the Saint Maritn – Teknaf Peninsula for MPA declaration. Potential no-entry, no-take zone covers an area of 44.37 km2 while entry, no-take; partial reserve and general reserve zones cover 710.92, 1436 and 801 km2 area, respectively. Our study will serve as a model example to delineate the MPA zones with different protection levels for tropical and sub-tropical marine systems.


  • MPA delineation
  • Biodiversity
  • Socio-economic
  • Conservation
  • Tropical
  • Saint Martin’s Island
  • Bay of Bengal

Link for the publication here

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