In some parts of Bangladesh, farmers have developed floating gardens- an environmentally friendly traditional cultivation technique that utilizes the natural resources of wetlands- to grow vegetables and other crops.
These are mostly those farmers who either don’t possess farmland or their farmlands remain submerged in water for the most part of the year, thanks to climate change.
In these gardens, plants are grown on the water on floating organic beds of water hyacinth, algae and other plant residues.
Grown almost the entire year, these gardens provide numerous social, economic, agricultural, and ecological benefits to the locals.
These gardens are a testament that farmers in Bangladesh, through various adaptive and coping mechanisms, are staying productive even though they face the challenges of climate change.
One of such floating gardens is located in Banaipara, which stands on the River Sandhya.
When land gets scarce in many places, local farmers grow their seedbeds and plants on these floating gardens.
This Hydroponics system of Bangladesh was recognised by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) for innovation, sustainability, and adaptability in December 2014.
GIAHS are outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and valuable cultural heritage.
In the Asia-Pacific region, there are 36 sites in 7 countries designated as GIAHS.
Apart from one site in Bangladesh, there are 15 sites in China, three sites in India, 11 sites in Japan, one in the Philippines, four sites in the Republic of Korea, and one site in Sri Lanka.