Sundarban Mangrove’S Depleting Alarmingly (Download PDF)


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The Sundarbans in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal is one of the natural wonders of the world. Forest is located in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins and extends across Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Patuakhali and Barguna districts.

Location of Sundarbans

Location of Sundarbans

Location of Sundarbans

Study Findings

  • Study conducted using remote sensing and GIS for the first time
  • From 1986 to 2012, 124.418 sq km or about 5.5 % of the mangrove cover of Sundarbans was lost.
  • Identified erosion of at least 18 mangrove-forested islands of the Indian Sundarbans from 1986 to 2012. including Sagar, Gosaba, Dulibhasani, Dalhousie, Bhangaduni and Jambudwip.
  • Total forest cover assessed by remote sensing studies in 1986 about 2, 246.839 sq km.
  • Forest cover declined by 2, 201.41 sq. km. in 1996, then down to 2168.914 sq km in 2001 and to 2122.421 sq. km in 2012.

About Sundarbans

Image shows About Sundarbans

Image Shows About Sundarbans

Image shows About Sundarbans

  • Largest forested forest in the world.
  • Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Bangladesh and Indian part is adjacent uninterrupted landmark. UNESCO World Heritage Lists names of “Sundarbans” and “Sundarban National Park” respectively.
  • 10, 000 square kilometres of area of which 60 % is in Bangladesh with the remainder in India
  • Located in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins.
  • Largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.
  • Consists of small marine streams, mud shores and mangrove forests, small-scale archipelagos.
  • 31.1 percent of the total forest area, which is 1, 874 sq km, consists of riverbed, inlet, bill, and water. Self-contained Royal Bengal Tiger and Chital Deer, Crocodile and Snakes.
  • 500 tigers and 30, 000 chitra deer are now in the Sunderban area.
  • On 21 May 1992, Sundarban was recognized as a Ramsar Site.

Causes and Effects of Depletion

  • Loss in the mangrove forest is about 5.5 %.
  • Reason for depletion is climate change and sea level rise
  • Poses a serious threat to the carbon sequestration potential and other ecosystem services
  • Sea level rise a driving factor for coastal erosion, coastal flooding, increase in the number of tidal creeks and losing land.
  • Because of decrease in fresh water flow and sediment supply in the western (Indian) part of the delta, the rate of sea level rise has now become higher than sediment supply.
  • Eeastern (Bangladesh) side of the Sundarbans delta gaining land due to sediment and water flow from the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.
  • Critical minimal inflow necessary for the luxuriant growth of mangroves.
  • Decrease in freshwater inflow results in mangrove succession with freshwater species of mangroves replaced by salt-water loving ones.
  • Negative impact on the fishing community, as commercially sought fish species is replaced.

- Published/Last Modified on: July 9, 2017


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