The Sundarbans delta is home
to a large human population of 4.5 million in India and 7.5 million in
Inside the Sundarbans delta
forests cover nearly 10,000 sq km.
Of which the total land area is 4,143 km²
And water area of 1,874 km²
Sundarbans is also the only extensive mangrove
forests exposed to freshwater and seawater mix.
The forest’s significant stronghold is of the
Royal Bengal Tiger, an endangered species.
These forests of the
Sundarbans, the mangrove, presents a natural buffer, a bulwark against coastal
erosion and seawater ingress into one of the most densely populated regions of
The Sundarbans forest has a
rich ecology of
334 species of plants,
49 species of mammals,
400 species of fish,
320 species of birds,
53 species of reptiles,
11 amphibian species,
phytoplankton, fungi, bacteria, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, mollusks.
However in recent years human
activities have induced climate change which threatens the delicate balance
between land, air, and sea of The Sundarbans.
The Problem of Global Warming in Sundarbans National Park:
Global warming in the
Sundarbans causes many significant problems.
To mention a few:
With increasing sea levels, islands
The accelerating salinity in
the water and soil has severely adversely affected to the health of mangrove trees
and forests and the grade of soil and crops. There have been grave dangers to
hydrological parameters and change in the fishing design of the local fishermen
of West Bengal and Bangladesh, resulting in disastrous conclusions.
Cyclones and abnormal monsoon
raining patterns due to climate change are damaging ecology and humankind of
the Sundarbans delta.
The Alarming Situation of the Forest: Extent of the problem
It has been observed that the
temperature of the H2O in the Sundarbans has increased at an booming rate of
0.5 degrees celsius per decade compared to the complied global sea temperature
warming at the rate of 0.06 degrees celsius per decade.
This rapid increase in
temperature of the sea has severe implications on Sundarbans’ aquatic life. Since
the Sundarbans area as it is an estuarine delta this affects it the most.
In the past 25 years, sea
level has also risen at a rate
almost twice the universal level.
This is due to a
combination of factors
including land existence systems. Due to non-stop submergence in higher water, as
a result of rise of sea level, the plants are
being noted to be smaller and
less wide with fewer
branches and leaves resulting
in lesser rates of
regeneration of the mangroves.
The sea level rise is also
affecting the availability of
sediment, directly brew the
establishment of new
Between 1777 and 1971,
non-stop deforestation and
land recovery activities have
been carried out in the
Sundarbans region. This deforestation
has raised man-animal conflict, local liquidate of several species and summed
up to the overall biological loss of the region.
In adition to the aforementioned
factors, the cleaning of forests have not benefitted self-sustaining agriculture
on the flood plain, as it tends to be sank down under saline water of the delta
during high tide.
Analysis of this problem
It is observed that any
procedure to remove
trespassing from the forested
areas is likely to be
majorly not favoured by local
politicians as well as
The population density of Sundarbans
has increased from about 929 persons/square kilometres in the year 2001 to 1,082
persons per square kilometres in 2011. This drastic heavy increase in the population
has resulted in further increase in the levels of global warming and climate change.
Control the situation of global
warming in Sundarbans! But how?
The need of the
hour is to react to the alarming global warming situation in the Sundarbans Natioanl
Park, West Bengal. Below are few measures that need to be executed immediately.
1. Integrated coastal and marine management
2. Monitoring the impact of climate change on
coral reef, Royal Bengal Tiger, crocodiles and Sundari tree
3. Coastal vulnerability and risk assessment
4. Economic valuation of Sundarbans’ resources
5. Afforestation and reforestation by salt tolerant
6. Facilitating natural regeneration and natural
succession of native tree species
7. Creating public awareness through mass media
8. Initiating community based coastal forestation
9. Protecting existing mangroves against encroachment and
mechanisms to harness benefit from Global Carbon Market