Poverty and environmental deterioration are among the gravest challenges faced in the developing world today. The relationship between poverty and the environment is complex and highly influenced by the socio-economic factors of a country or region. The main objective of this preliminary study was to examine the nature of poverty-deforestation relationships for an area in Bangladesh by using secondary data, interviews and a questionnaire survey. The study found that although the rate of deforestation has decreased in recent years, it is still continuing in the study area, poverty is not the primary cause of deforestation and poor people are not the primary agent for such degradation. Environmental degradation makes people poorer through lack of availability of natural resources, and management of natural resources should include the full participation of local residents and cooperation with government to ensure socio-environmentally sustainable resource management.
Keywords: poverty-environment nexus, participatory forestry, encroachment, Bangladesh, poverty, environmental deterioration, developing countries, deforestation, sustainable resource management, sustainable development, sustainability, local communities, government cooperation