SUNDARBANS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th March 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: According to the environmental study report, four million tonnes of microplastics are released into the Bay of Bengal and the Sundarbans each year from various rivers in Bangladesh and India.

Sundarbans

  • About: It is a vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem situated in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal, spanning across India and Bangladesh. 
  • Located: Delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, which is the world’s largest.
  • World's Largest Mangrove Forests: Sundarbans contains the world’s largest mangrove forests, making it an ecological marvel of global significance.
  • Conservation Efforts: Sundarbans were intensified with the establishment of the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in 1973, marking it as a crucial area for wildlife preservation.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Sundarbans National Park, established in 1984, forms the core of the tiger reserve and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

oIt is the 27th Ramsar Site in India.

  • Biosphere Reserve: Designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2001.
  • Biodiversity: Known for its diverse fauna, including rare and globally threatened species such as the Estuarine Crocodile, Royal Bengal Tiger, and Gangetic Dolphin.

Nature-based Solutions

  • About: Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, or restore natural ecosystems, that address societal challenges such as climate change, human health, food and water security, and disaster risk reduction effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

oExamples: Planting trees that thrive in coastal areas – known as mangroves -- reduces the impact of storms on coastal erosion, human lives and economic assets, and provides a habitat for fish, birds and other plants supporting biodiversity.

oOther examples: Climate-smart farming, environmentally sustainable forest management, restoration of wetlands and degraded forests.

Samadhaan