Radhika Bhargava


PhD student
Improving the management of the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh and India

I am studying the effectiveness of current management practices to conserve the Sundarbans mangrove forests. The border issues between India and Bangladesh are reflective in the management of the Sundarbans (and the academic research conducted), which gives another indication to how the current management might not be effective. Thus, I would like to do a comparative analysis on threats, ecosystem services and management practices for the overall ecosystem as one unit and India-Bangladesh as two separate units. To evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas for the management of the Sundarbans, I am proposing to evaluate current management practices and suggest efficient management practices based on analysing the application of Payments for Ecosystem Services and other market based approaches. With the help of this study, I hope to bridge the gap between conservation and development.

I received MS from University of San Francisco, USA in Environmental Sciences where my focus was on geospatial analysis and remote sensing. I worked with the SERVIR-Mekong project on building high-resolution land cover maps of the Lower Mekong Subregion. I received my  BS in Biology and Environmental Studies with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Cincinnati, USA , where I also worked with the Schools for Field Studies on coral reef resilience and marine protected area management in the Turks and Caicos Islands. My broad interests lie in sustainable development, community forest management, using technology (satellite data and machine learning) to solve environmental problems and all sorts of coastal issues.