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Estimation of Ecosystem Services Loss due to Rohingya Influx in Eastern Coast of Bangladesh using Multi-Temporal Satellite Data
  • Muhammad Mainuddin Patwary,
  • Sadia Ashraf,
  • Faysal Kabir Shuvo
Muhammad Mainuddin Patwary
Khulna University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sadia Ashraf
Khulna University
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Faysal Kabir Shuvo
University of Wollongong
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Nearly one million Rohingya refugees of Myanmar have fled to neighboring Bangladesh for seeking shelter from systematic oppression since 25 August 2017. The speed and scale of the influx has led to unprecedented growth of the Kutupalong refugee camp of eastern coast of Bangladesh within few months. There is a few study focused on environmental degradation of the refugee camp, however, no study has been done so far to estimate the impact of camp expansion on ecosystem services loss. This study, therefore, made an attempt to estimate the changes of Ecosystem Services Value (ESV) in response to camp expansion for the year July 2017 (pre-camp) and July 2018 by GIS technique and corresponding global value coefficient developed by Costanza et.al. (1997). Land cover map of the study area was prepared by using Landsat 8 satellite data. Results show an overall decrease of vegetation of 2486 hectares, of which 20% were used to expand the camp and 80% were deforested. Total ecosystem service values of the study area reduced dramatically, from 51.53×106 US$ to 49.12×106 US$ in the study period. This represents a 4.63% net decline in annual value of ecosystem services in the study area. In terms of 2 km buffer of the camp, the net decline rate is found 32.58%. The significant changes are also recorded in individual ecosystem services function of the area. Hence, the findings of this study may motivate the Bangladesh government to develop better plans to protect the ecologically sensitive forested land and wildlife habitats surrounding the refugee camps and assist in more sustainable resource mobilization for the Rohingya refugees.