Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBoBS)
The Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBoBS) is an integral part of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). CBoBS commenced its journey on November 22, 2020 after receiving approbation from the Board of Trustees of IUB. The Centre's priorities include environment, ecology, geopolitics, geostrategies, blue economy, and development of coastal communities. Since its inception, CBoBS has been engaging with national and international development organizations to identify sustainable ways of reaping the benefits of the blue economy of the Bay of Bengal while also preserving its ecological integrity. The Centre is committed to fostering a sense of community bonding among all South Asian and Southeast Asian littoral states of the Bay of Bengal for preservation and sustainable management of this important shared Commons.The Importance of Bay of Bengal for Bangladesh
The Bay of Bengal is a central and pivotal part of the Indian Ocean and of growing strategic interest and importance to global actors. It is, notably, the largest Bay in the world. Bangladesh, located at the apex of this funnel shaped Bay, considers the Bay of Bengal as an integral extension of its national interest. It depends on it for food and myriad economic activities for sustenance. The country has also become increasingly dependent on tapping into the potentials of the Blue Economy of Bay of Bengal to realize national own goals of societal and economic development.
The World Bank defines Blue Economy as “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihood and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health." The blue economy for Bangladesh encapsulates a number of very important economic functions. Bangladesh has perhaps been the most proactive among the Bay of Bengal littorals to develop the Blue Economy. The ocean contributed over USD 6 billion to the economy of Bangladesh in 2014-15. Tourism and recreation accounted for 25%, marine fisheries and aquaculture 22%, transport 22%, energy 19%, ship and boat building and breaking 9%, and minerals 3%. The fisheries sector employs 17 million people of Bangladesh.
The vast global commons comprising the world oceans and seas are not only resource-rich with enormous potential for enhancing human wellbeing, but they are also an increasingly fragile ecosystem that requires rational and proactive management. Viewing the Blue Economy, anywhere, while increasingly becoming a function of money and economic development, is also increasingly being subjected to neglect and damage of the ecosystem. However, it is increasingly becoming clear that the Bay of Bengal, which connects the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the countries that depend on them, is subject to competing strategies of different global and regional powers that intersect in the Bay of Bengal region. It is also being vulnerable to a number of ecological and environmental phenomena that could adversely - even to the extent of existentially - impact the wellbeing and sustained human and economic development of the Bay-dependent littorals and states with interest.
- Geopolitical: derived from its location in the oceanic world, serving as Indo-Pacific connector bridge between Far-west, West Asia, and Far East.
- Geo-Economic: Has vast Blue Economy potentials, marine life, mineral & Hydro-carbon deposits within the the Bay; gateway and potential choke point in shipping routes (commercial or otherwise from Suez Canal/Persian Gulf/ Arabian Sea, South Indian Ocean/Antarctic, and Pacific.
- Geo-Strategic: Of increasing global interest between great powers competing with each other – at present, two rival narratives, meet here
- Historic: Facilitator of trade and connectivity, cultural exchanges, idea flows
- Geo-Ecological: vast incubator area for both carbon sequestration as well as atmospheric oxygenation – BUT also an endangered area with negative consequences for global warming and climate change
The CBoBS, nested in the IUB, therefore hopes to address and augment Bangladesh’s own larger interest by organizing and participating in initiatives that undertake detailed research on and mapping of the possibilities that the Bay of Bengal contains as well as identifying measures for protecting the geo-morphological integrity of this vitally important water body on which Bangladesh is so centrally located and deeply dependent on for myriad reasons.Mission
The mission of CBoBS is to better identify and reduce ocean-related hazards, and to strengthen resilience of coastal natural capital, through promoting research, regional cooperation and investing in nature-based solutions for protecting the most vulnerable people and restoring biodiversity, particularly by valuing and safeguarding coastal habitats in the Bay of Bengal Region.Goals
The core goals of the CBoBS are to sponsor, coordinate, and support deep research on Bay of Bengal environmental and ecological issues, enhancing of the sustainability of the blue economy of the Bay for Bangladesh.Strategic Priorities
- Integrated Bay of Bengal Management and Regional Cooperation
- Blue Economy, Blue Carbon and Deep-Sea Fishing
- Plastic Pollution, Waste Management and Renewable Energy
- Nature Based Solution, Revival and Sustaining Mangrove Protection
- Climate Change Adaptation and Issue Base Advocacy
- Marine Security, Maintenance of Open Free and Peaceful Use of Maritime Shipping
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Amb (Retd) Tariq A Karim
Ambassador Karim is the Director of the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies at the Independent University, Bangladesh. Ambassador Karim was formerly an advisor to the World Bank for Regional Integration, South Asian Region, during which he shepherded the initiation of power trade between Bangladesh and India, and facilitated talks between Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India for working towards regional energy security. Prior to this, he was Bangladesh’s immediate past High Commissioner to India with the rank and status of a Minister of State, from August 2009 until October 2014. Ambassador Karim has also served ambassadorial assignments in Washington D.C., Pretoria, and Tehran. Ambassador Karim was at the University of Maryland from 1999 to 2000 as a distinguished international executive in residence, and subsequently from 2002 to 2004 as consultant/senior adviser in the IRIS Centre of the University of Maryland. Ambassador Karim was also an adjunct faculty member teaching courses in Government & Politics, International Relations, and Business & Politics at the University of Maryland, George Washington University and Virginia International University, respectively, from 2004-2008.
Anannay Zaman is currently working as an Administrative Officer in the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies, IUB to facilitate impactful projects that focus on environmental, ecological, geopolitical, and geo-strategic issues. As a business graduate, he also has experience in the business development sector. Anannay has been part of many social and environmental development projects that involve watershed cleanups, waste management, sustainable enterprise development, plastic bag reduction, disaster management, blue economy and regional cooperation. Since childhood, he has been deeply fascinated with music and I am also a percussionist and an award-winning artist specializing in tabla and other traditional drums. He is an international member of Amnesty International and actively works with them on social development programs.
- Research Project-1 Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index – July 2021 to February 2022 Funded by – Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan
- Research Project-2 “India-Bangladesh Trans-boundary Partnership to Protect the Sundarbans, the world’s largest Mangrove Forest, Funded by FCDO
- Webinar: Increasing political, ecological, economic and regional importance of Bay of Bengal to Bangladesh in the post Covid-19 world.
- Regional conference on THE BAY OF BENGAL AS CONNECTIVITY HUB IN INDO-PACIFIC REGION Reconnecting peoples, facilitating human development for prosperity of all from the Bay of Bengal, March 14-15, 2021, Funded by Japan embassy to Bangladesh
- CORVI validation workshop, “Assessing Risks in the City of Chattogram, Bangladesh using the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI)”, took place on 30th September 2021
- Global day Joint Event- in collaboration with the Global Studies Department, IUB 24th October 2021
- Curtain Raiser for World Peace Conference - Seminar on ‘Inspired by Bangabandhu’s vision of Regional & Global Peace: Envisaging Regional Peace & Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal’ on 30 November 2021, from 11.00 a.m. to 1: 00 p.m, Funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh
- National Seminar on Assessing Risk in the City of Chattogram, Bangladesh using the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI)’, is taking place on 14 February 2022, from 10.30 a.m. to 1: 00 p.m.
- International conference on Moving Forward in the Indo-Pacific: Bangladesh’s Role in Fostering an Open, Resilient, and Interconnected Bay of Bengal and Beyond, Concluding Session- 31st March 2022 at IUB.
- Side Event at COP27 titled Addressing Climate change through regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal, COP27 Bangladesh Pavilion, Sharm al Sheikh, Egypt 15rh November 2022, 3:30 pm to 5:00pm) in association with MoEFCC, MoFA, ICCCAD, OPRI and SPF.
- 10th Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum, in association with Balipara Foundation, Assam, India, 11th - 13th December 2022 IUB, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- CBoBS Public Lecture by Professor Kanti Prasad Bajpai titled 'Squaring the Circle of India China strategic interests intersecting in the Indo Pacific' ‘Squaring the Circle of India China strategic interests intersecting in the Indo Pacific: Implications for South Asia and Regional and Global Stability, Security and Peace’ on Sunday, 7th May 2023 at 10: 30 am to 12: 00 pm,
- Clean EDGE Asia Conference titled ‘Assessing Renewable Energy in South Asia’ at The Westin, Dhaka from May 22 – May 23, 2023 10:00 a.m. – 5:20 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. BST
Regional conference on THE BAY OF BENGAL AS CONNECTIVITY HUB IN INDO-PACIFIC REGION Reconnecting peoples, facilitating human development for prosperity of all from the Bay of Bengal, March 14-15, 2021, Funded by Japan embassy to Bangladesh
National Seminar on Assessing Risk in the City of Chattogram, Bangladesh using the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI)’, is taking place on 14 February 2022, from 10.30 a.m. to 1: 00 p.m.
International conference on Moving Forward in the Indo-Pacific: Bangladesh’s Role in Fostering an Open, Resilient, and Interconnected Bay of Bengal and Beyond, Concluding Session- 31st March 2022 at IUB in association with the US Embassy in Dhaka.
CBoBS Public Lecture by Professor Kanti Prasad Bajpai titled 'Squaring the Circle of India China strategic interests intersecting in the Indo Pacific' ‘Squaring the Circle of India China strategic interests intersecting in the Indo Pacific: Implications for South Asia and Regional and Global Stability, Security and Peace’ on Sunday, 7th May 2023 at 10: 30 am to 12: 00 pm
Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies
Room No: 8002, 8003, 8004, 8005
Level-7, Jubilee Building,
Independent University, Bangladesh.
Plot 16, Block B, Road # 10, Bashundhara R/A,
Dhaka 1229. Bangladesh.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Phone & Extension: +88-09612-939393, Ext: 3400
Mobile: +8801780155532, +8801610285941