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Human uses (opportunities)
· Power- Farakka HEP Dam in river Ganges
· Industry- Jute, rubber, plastic, ship breaking,
pharmaceuticals, logging in mangrove forests. Garment
manufacture 4th largest in world
· Settlement- 36 million occupy coast
· Services- growing middle class-54th largest in world
· Mining- exploitation of mangroves for timber, matches,
hardboard, boat building
· Agriculture- 2/3 population are farmers, 4th largest rice
producer, aquaculture- shrimp farming (accounts for 2.5%
of global production
· Tourism- huge potential- sandy beaches (Cox's bazaar
worlds longest sandy beach), sub tropical climate, historic
mosques/monuments, water sports, shopping…read more

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Reasons for growth
· Fertile alluvial soil created by annual flooding
· Fresh water from rivers, plentiful rain from annual
monsoon produce high rice yields
· Rich fishery- 500,000 tonnes of fish cultivated
yearly- 80% from shrimp farming…read more

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Environmental issues (challenges)
· Ganges/Brahmaputra rivers act like open sewers- millions of
tonnes of toxins, sewage, waste, chemicals and agro-chemicals
end up in rivers leading to decline in fish stock and end up in
food chain.
· Population growth increased amount of sewage
· 18 million tonnes of pesticide used-1/4 runs into rivers causing
· Deforestation of mangroves- 20km2 per year- unsustainable
rate, affects fish stocks, increases risk of flooding
· Salinisation of fresh water due to shrimp farms
· Allowing 80km2 clearance of mangroves in the sundurbans area
for shrimp farming for economic gain
· Coastal environment controlled by separate agencies, so didn't
recognise interdependence of economic activities resulting in
over and unchecked development with little concern for
environment.…read more

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Conflicts (challenges)
Range of economic activities come into conflict as they
compete for limited resources:
· Deforestation of mangroves for timber leads to decrease
in fish stocks
· Mangroves cleared for shrimp farming- 80km2 area of
mangroves in Chokeria were cleared for this
· Agro chemicals washed into rivers which decreases fish
· Farakka Dam on Ganges has reduced flow in Ganges and
salinity has increased, polluting waters
· Salt water from shrimp farms seeped into farmland
· Shrimp farmers illegally build drainage pipes through
coastal defence embankments allowing, salt water to flood
farmland…read more

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Attempts to balance socio-economic and
environmental needs
· Integrated coastal zone management strategy
(ICZM) has financial backing from Netherlands and
UK- promotes environmentally sustainable shrimp
· Diversification into tourism as alternate to
agriculture and shrimp farming
· Environmental conservation of mangrove forests…read more


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