By : Md. Jahangir Alam Chowdhury
Abstract: This study assesses the impact of participation in the social forestry program of Proshika on the environmental literacy of participating households in Bangladesh. Proshika--a non-governmental organization--has initiated a social forestry program with the twin objectives of improving environmental quality while alleviating poverty. Proshika uses microcredit to motivate poor households to participate in its social forestry program. Moreover, participating households receive training on planting trees along with information on other environmental issues. In order to gauge the impact of the program on the environmental literacy of participating households, we calculated an environmental literacy score on the basis of the responses of households to 10 environmental issues. The analysis relies on a household-level survey of 450 households. We use the instrumental variable technique (IV technique) for the analysis of data. The results indicate that participation in the social forestry program of Proshika significantly enhances the environmental literacy of participating households. The findings of the study emphasize the importance of initiating more such programs by the government as well as NGOs to enhance people's knowledge on the environment.
Keywords :Microcredit, Social Forestry, Environmental Literacy, Trees, Proshika, Bangladesh
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