Sunderbans – The eroding mangroves of Endangered Royal bengal Tigers

When will India start doing something for its natural wonders?

This is not a travel story – it is just a reminder for all our fellow travelers to raise their voices against the eroding natural beauty. In this pace we will lose half of our exotic travel destinations in a decade.

The Sunderbans have been nominated as a finalist in the new 7 wonders of nature contest .Every country is making the best of efforts to garner more votes for its own natural asset. The prime minister of Israel is vouching for Dead sea, Jordan (again for dead sea) and jeju islands(another finalist) have declared mutual support ,on course of a football match .Jeju is being funded by Hyundai and Kia. In Bangladesh telecom companies in partnership with government have introduced sms voting for Sunderbans .Has India forgotten that the Sunderbans are its own natural resource? Or is our government /corporates too busy, with their personal interests, to do something for the success of our Sunderbans (our pride) in the new7wonders campaign? According to World Bank and Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM) if the sedimentation can’t keep pace with the sea level rise – believed to be happening at 3 millimetres annually – the Sunderbans may see a huge loss of mangroves which will put the survival of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger at risk. According to IESWM senior Scientist Somenath Bhattacharya large scale aquaculture using low scale management techniques has triggered more inflow of seawater into these creeks causing them to erode fast.

This image is credited to Google

The other huge conflicting issue is the man- animal encounter that happens almost every week in Sunderbans. Every alternate house has a victim of jungle madness. We definitely need better forest administration to control the boundaries of the forest and good leaders to control the limits of urbanization.

But for now, the fate of 3.5 million people living within 20kms boundaries of the mangroves and more than 40 tigers dominating the place hang in balance. However, Bhattacharyya is of firm opinion that with proper infrastructure administration and consequent management, it is possible to save the Sunderbans even with 1 meter sea level rise. The region that claimed to be an impenetrable mangrove forest is likely to vanish as an irretrievable piece of land, along with the flora and fauna native to it.

If a boat with somebody in it is sinking in water and if you happen to see it, how you would feel? A vast, beautiful region called Sunderbans is sinking with all its life-forms because of Global Warming that is nothing but a blunder of human beings. Scientists say that there is still hope if we act in a united manner all over the world. Do we have leaders, who have global perception and who can inspire the world population enough to save itself from apocalypse in time?

Published in Asia, Destination
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