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.

The Multidimensional Importance of the Bay of Bengal


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.


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.


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

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The Team

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
Administrative Officer

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.


Event streaming links

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

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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: cbobs@iub.edu.bd, azaman@iub.edu.bd
Phone & Extension: +88-09612-939393, Ext: 3400
Mobile: +8801780155532, +8801610285941