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CASE STUDY: SUNDERBANS
Mangroves are trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the
tropics and subtropics mainly between latitudes 25N and 25S.
They dominate three quarters of tropical coastlines. The Sunderbans are
located in Bangladesh and is part of one of the largest deltas in the world,
where the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers meet at the Bengal Basin.
The Sunderbans are an important resource of:
- Food (Crustaceans, fishing)
- Wood for building and for fuel.
- Herbs and Medicine for the local people.
They are also an incredibly important ecosystem that supports biodiversity
and protects the coastline from erosion.
- Deforestation of the mangroves in the vicinity of settlements related to
the growing population's need for:
o Food, Fuel, Shelter
o Building Wood (the Sunderbans supports the world's largest
mangrove forestry industry)
- Climate Change (Rising sea levels will cause the Sunderbans to
The Main Factors Contributing Towards The Loss Of The Mangrove Forest:
- Economic growth.
- Accessibility and unclear ownership of the mangrove land.
- Obscure management plans and rules/regulations by bureaucracy
(government where the state officials make the decisions and set
rules/regulations rather than elected representatives).
- Inadequate support of the mangrove support by local people.
- Lack of awareness and education.
- Part of the Mangrove forest has been declared to be a protected reserve,
and is fully controlled and managed by the Government Forest
- Government of Bangladesh formed the National Forestry Policy on
08-07-1979, since then, initiatives have been taken to handle the
threats the mangrove forest is under.
- The policy also encourages scientific research for the mangroves to
allow us to understand them in more depth.
- Restoration programs have also been introduced to help stop the fast
deforestation done by local people and illegal loggers.
- They are trying to increase the protected are by 10% by 2015.
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Ecotourism has been introduced to help decrease the harms caused by
- The Sunderbans has been designated as a World Heritage Site in 1997
raising awareness of how prestigious the forest is and how important it
is to conserve it and because of this, it has been easier to raise funds for
numerous conservation projects that are currently running in the