Environment and Development Economics

Natural resource sustainability and poverty reduction

a1 Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, England


This paper uses a model of an inland fishery in Bangladesh to investigate the relationship between poverty and resource sustainability in a specific case. It makes use of detailed fieldwork to build a numerical model of fishery decision making, which incorporates extensions to standard fisheries models. In particular, it includes fish migration between lease units and models the choice of fishing gear, as well as fishing effort, over the year. The modelling of fishing gear choice allows an analysis of the effect of management policies on employment in the fishery, a major factor that influences poverty in the locality. The numerical results show that while some simple policies to improve sustainability are likely to increase poverty, it is possible to design policies which affect gear choice and lead to reduced poverty without harming the sustainability of the resource.