Bassel Daher, Ph.D.

In pursuit of continuous economic development, Bangladesh has undertaken long-term plans to boost its productivity in the agriculture, energy, and industrial sectors and to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unless these strong interconnections and cross sectoral impacts are recognized, achievement of the future policy goals and national priorities of the concerned ministries regarding food self-sufficiency, cleaner energy sources, and water availability will be compromised. This study focuses on evaluating the impacts of cross-sectoral policy decisions on the interconnected resource systems at a national scale in Bangladesh. A quantitative analysis is performed to identify resource requirements, synergies, and trade-offs related to a set of future strategies. The analysis concludes by showing that land is the most limiting resource for future expansion and that fresh water will become a critical resource if alternative sources of water are not explored, and, that energy generation, if coal and other fossil fuels are favored over alternative energy sources, will significantly add to the total carbon emissions. Given the limitations of land available for agricultural expansion, of renewable water resources, and the challenges in meeting increasing water, energy, and food demands, the strong interdependencies among the interconnected resource systems must be accounted for. The SDG and national priority indicators are found to improve under scenarios for which resources are conserved via alternative sources.

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