Climate Change – Impact on the Sundarbans, a Case Study
International Scientific Journal: Environmental Science, 2(1):7-15, 2012
9 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2019
Date Written: 2012
Sundarbans is the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest and is a designated world heritage site. Shared by India and Bangladesh, it is home to several species including tigers. The habitat supports approximately 4.37 million people. As per the research conducted it is believed that the Sundarbans have soaked in 4.15 crore tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Due to climate change the Sundarbans faces several challenges.With rising sea levels, islands are disappearing and the increasing salinity in the water and soil has severely threatened the health of mangrove forests and the quality of soil and crops. Additionally, there have been serious disturbances to hydrological parameters and change in fishing patterns, resulting in disastrous consequences for fishermen. Frequent cyclones and erratic monsoon raining pattern are damaging ecology and humanity.
In addition to general environment protection laws, India has also set up institutes at both the Central and State levels to specifically tackle the effects of climate change on Sundarbans. However, split responsibilities between Centre and States and multitude of institutions has resulted in overlap of responsibilities, loss of time and resources, which makes the institutions ineffective.
With risk of the Sundarbans submerging, there is an urgent need for global reduction of emissions and replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy. Governments also need to promote plantation of local saline resistant seeds. Even as the State and Central Government of India finalise action plans to tackle the problems of climate change and take steps for poverty alleviation
in one of the world’s poorest regions, there is a pressing requirement to set up flood relief centres and rapid action response teams to cyclones and storms.
Keywords: Sundarbans, climate change, sea level, salinity, biodiversity, threat, conservation, mitigation
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