Measures adopted to save the largest mangrove forest - Sundarbans

Measures adopted to save the largest mangrove forest – Sundarbans

Question:-The environmental changes in Sundarbans are caused by the climate change and other factors resulting in the migration of people due to loss of livelihood and water problems. What are the measures that need to be taken to save the Sundarbans?

Sundarbans is the world's largest single block of mangrove forest. It falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Site, shared by India and Bangladesh at the mouth of the Ganges river.

Sundarbans is facing the environmental issues such as rise in sea level, increase in salinity, man made hazards, deforestation etc. Such problems creates the migration of the people to the other parts of the country.

Certain measures should be adopted to save the Sundarbans :

- Creating awareness – People of the area should be made aware about the issues faced by the Sundarbans. The farmers and their families need to be made to understand that they should embrace the issues or changes that they are facing. They should be made aware of the consequences of man made hazards like deforestation etc.

- Joint efforts by India and Bangladesh – A joint meeting to save the Sundarbans should be organized between both the countries. It should involve eminent people like scientists or environmentalists and NGO's. The meeting should develop an action plan and should be monitored periodically.

- Public -Private partnership – Various international organizations, NGO's or other banks should come forward to grant the funds to save Sundarbans. The local communities should be provided with funds so that they can consume other sources of nourishment. A regular auditing on the usage of the fund will be very helpful.

- Encouragement to eco-tourism – The local communities should be a participant of the friendly tourism practices in order to encourage eco-tourism. A community based eco-tourism model should be developed which would aim to benefit the whole of the community.

- Creating alternative sources of livelihood – Both the governments of India and Bangladesh should introduce alternatives for income generation so that the local people need not depend on the mangrove forest resources. People living nearby the mangrove forests depend on the firewood, meat, fish etc.

- Legislative measures – Impressive legislative measures should be undertaken and implemented by both the governments of India and Bangladesh. A frequent check should be carried out in order to check whether the rules are implemented or not. The neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, China etc should also contribute in whichever way they can to improve the condition of the Sundarbans.

- Effective use of IT– The Information Technology should be utilized effectively to spread the awareness regarding the issue of Sundarbans. Students should be provided with an opportunity to take part in the contests like essay writing, brochure designing etc related to the topic of Sundarbans. This will inculcate in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc should spread the message of saving the Sundarbans.

- Mangrove plantation – The plantation of mangrove forests should be encouraged because it will capture the rate of coastal erosion. Mangrove plantation would increase the survival of the Sundarbans. Unless such large scale measures involving the people are taken, Sundarbans might disappear from the maps of both the countries.

- Responsibility of the Localities – Apart from the Center and State government initiatives, the local communities themselves has to take up some action plan. The people can adopt the concept of backyard farming instead of using the salinated lands. At times, the salinated lands might be used by the people. In such cases, the Central or state government should provide the seeds that would grow in the salinated lands. The local community should concentrate on preserving and protecting the wildlife especially the endangered species like the Bengal Tiger etc.

India and Bangladesh should act as responsible neighbors in order to prevent the Sundarbans from vanishing away. Both the countries should learn from their past mistakes and bring some development changes to the conservation of biodiversity of Sundarbans.

Facts and Figures

- With a huge and poor population of 823 million, India is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

- Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest of the World.

- Sundarbans was declared as the World heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

- The Indian part of Sundarban is the largest tiger reserve in India.

- The Indian part of Sundarbans has been recognized as the Global Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2001.

- About 3.1 million people depend upon Sunderbans for their livelihood.
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