I. ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT OF FLOOD IMPACTS
C. Ecological resources
Because of its deltaic location, Bangladesh has an extensive system of wetlands. Wetlands play a multi-functional role in providing habitats that sustain important linkages in the biological control of human and crop pests and diseases, sustaining the food web, providing storage for flood and irrigation water, cycling and storing nutrients and absorbing pollution, and providing a range of common property resources. The huge wetland area of more than 16,000 km2 constitutes about 11 per cent of the total area of the country. Major floodplain depressions are concentrated in the north-east region, locally known as Haors, and in the southern part of the north-west region, locally known as Beels. Oxbow lakes in the floodplain are the abandoned reaches of meandering rivers. Such water bodies are known as Baor in the south-west and south-central regions.