USAID-Compass conducted Dhaka’s first-ever urban tree inventory using i-Tree

Compass has conducted the first-ever urban tree inventory in Dhaka to quantify and estimate tree benefits using i-Tree modeling tool. Total 45 participants have attended in the training and field activities of the program from July 16-30, 2022.

The i-Tree is a suite of free modeling toolsets for estimating and quantifying the benefits trees provide to communities. This tool calculates the key tree services including species specific pollution removal, carbon sequestration, carbon storage, oxygen production, and surface runoff reduction. USAID’s Compass program introduced this tool in Bangladesh in 2021 and has been engaging Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD), Bangladesh National Herbarium (BNH), academic institutions, Civil Society Organization (CSO) and university graduates for tree inventory since then. So far, the i-Tree Eco has been applied in more than 130 cities around the world. 

This 15 days program was segmented in two major parts- four training days at BFD and National Botanical Garden and eleven field-days tree inventory. The trainers from Compass and BFD enlightened the participants (expert associates from different reputed institutions and enumerators) about the Compass program, attributes of i-Tree modelling software and handling of forest inventory instruments following the Bangladesh Forest Inventory (BFI) guidelines from experts of BFD. 

Using the forest inventory tools, enumerators collected data from the field for 11 days from assigned plots encompassing the entire DSCC. Two senior taxonomist experts, Dr. M Kamal Hossain from University of Chittagong and Khandakar Kamrul Islam from BNH constantly supported the enumerators identifying each tree species in the field.

Dhaka is one of the most polluted cities in the world, lacking the necessary tree cover and urban greenspaces as a result of intense population pressure and infrastructure needs that lead to rapid unplanned urbanization. The results obtained from the Compass i-Tree Eco program will help to inform the delivery of multiple policy objectives from climate change adaptation to increasing urban resilience.