sundarbans

  • Created by: vick.m
  • Created on: 17-05-19 13:20
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  • The Sundarbans, Bangladesh
    • Background
      • coastal zone occupying the world's largest delta.
      • SW Bangladesh and East India on the Delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers
      • large parts are protected as part of a national park or forest reserve. part of the world's largest mangrove forest.
      • flat and low-lying lands intersected by thousands of small channels containing small and silty islands.
      • home to many rare species, including Royal Bengal tigers
    • Opportunities
      • home to 4 million people
      • natural products
        • flat and fertile land is ideal for farming (esp rice)
        • mangrove forests provide timber for construction and firewood
        • rich ecosystems of mangrove forests provide fish, crabs, honey and nipa palm leaves for roofing and basket making
      • services
        • natural defence against flooding. low lying lands of Bangladesh.
        • barrier against rough seas and excess water from a monsoon can infiltrate. = farming is easier
      • development and prosperity
        • tourism. mangroves and wildlife
        • power plant has been proposed north of the national park. energy for the region
        • since 2011, cargo ships transporting goods such as oil and food inland have been allowed to use the waterways. channels have been dredged to make passage easier.
    • Risks
      • relatively poor region. 1 in 5 households have access to mains electricity. communication is difficult so many residents don't receive flood warnings
      • flooding --> salinisation of soil. farming is difficult
      • access is difficult. few roads and are por quality. harder for residents to receive goods, healthcare and services
      • low-lying land at risk of sea-level rise due to climate change
      • home to dangerous animals that attack humans such as tigers, sharks and crocodiles
      • lack of employment opportunities
      • growing population has led to a need for more fuel and land so many mangrove forests are being removed. increases likelihood of flooding and coastal erosion
      • lack of freshwater for drinking and irrigation. freshwater is diverted from the rivers for irrigation of agricultural land further upstream
    • Overcoming the risks
      • resilience
        • mains electricity extended to more areas and subsidised solar panels are being made available in remote villages. Improved flood warning awareness. employment opportunities
        • Public Health Engineering Department is increasing access to clean water and sanitation which will improve quality of life and health
        • efforts to decrease poverty and increase food security. farming subsidies to increase food production and provide jobs. risk that some areas may be farmed too intensively.
      • adaptation
        • salt resistant varieties of rice are being tried out. cope with flooding and sea level rise. could reduce biodiversity and increase vulnerability to pests and diseases. non-intensive farming practices
        • tourism. lodges have been built and tour operators run boat trips in the rivers. could potentially cause environmental damage. eco-tourism
        • houses built on stilts. infrastructure such as roads cannot be protected as easily
      • mitigation
        • 3500km of embankments to prevent flooding but are gradually being eroded and 800km are vulnerable to being breached.
        • coastal management projects to protect existing mangrove forests and replant removed areas. illegal forest clearance. unclear whether mangrove forests will withstand sea level rise
        • mitigate impacts of extreme events such as cyclones. government and NGOs have provided cyclone shelters and early warning systems. however, many people do not have transport
    • Coastal processes
      • Dense well-connected, network of interconnecting river channels that flow over clay and silt deposits.
      • sediment store is in dynamic equilibrium. material is deposited by rivers allowing mangrove forest growth and is eroded by the sea
      • larger channels straight and up to 2km wide. N to S
      • drainage system of interconnecting smaller channels (khals). drain the land with each powerful ebb tide.
        • sediments washed away to banks or to the river mouth  where the strong southern-westerly monsoon winds blow them into sand dunes
          • finer sediments washed into bay and with wave action, new islands form. vegetation colonises

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