India-Bangladesh consensus to save Sundarbans
Ecology and Environment
29th Sep, 2023
As per a recent update, officials and experts from Bangladesh and India agreed in Kolkata for a joint stakeholder initiative, to raise climate-linked loss and damage in the Sundarbans at global platforms.
- The global platforms would include the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which is going to held from November 30-December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
About the collaboration:
- Both the countries has noted that the transboundary Sundarbans are one of the global hotspots of climate change with increasing high intensity cyclones, sea level rise more than double the global average, and a high degree of erosion leading to large- scale forced migration of people.
According to West Bengal government data, just three cyclones — Bulbul, Amphan and Yaas — caused losses of about Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Also, out of the total population at risk, nearly five million are in India and the rest in Bangladesh.
The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest:
- The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world, lies across India and Bangladesh on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
- It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987.
- The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes.
- The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.
- It is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile, Royal Bengal Tiger, Water monitor lizard, Gangetic dolphin, and olive ridley turtles.
- The Sundarbans — a UNESCO World Heritage Site split between West Bengal in India (40 per cent) and Bangladesh (60 per cent).
- Climate change triggered problems in the Sundarbans.
- A sizeable population has already been affected multiple times, apart from on its unique ecosystem including Bengal tigers.
The project at Sundarbans is part of a global movement, Project CAT (Conserving Acres for Tigers), aimed at building healthy habitats for Tigers by conserving six million acres of protected land across four countries.