Sundarbans, the estuarine delta of Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna, is the largest river-mouth system in the world. Stretching across West Bengal state of India and the neighbouring country of Bangladesh (21°32′N to 22°40′N and 88°05′E to 89°51′E), the coastal delta of Sundarbans has a complex geomorphologic and hydrological character.
The Sundarbans has the world’s largest area, 140,000 ha, of mangrove forests with a variety of flora and diverse fauna in a unique ecosystem. In the Indian side it provides home for 4.45 million people and includes a UNESCO World Heritage site, a biosphere reserve, a national park and the Tiger Reserve dedicated to the famous Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris).
The Mangroves are unique ecosystems that provide critical habitat and food for innumerable organisms including human beings. They help to stabilize coastlines, protect communities from natural calamities and also create vital carbon sinks.
Due to climatic and anthropogenic pressures the Mangroves worldwide are under threat and the Mangroves of the Sundarbans are no exception to this.
On 11th January 2019, SOCEO collaborated with Prasanta Chandra Mahalanabis College (West Bengal state University) to organize a symposium with the objective of identifying a coping mechanism for the Sundarbans’ Mangroves through an interdisciplinary approach that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Leading experts and scholars from five universities working on issues and areas related to the Sundarbans’ Mangroves took part in the Symposium.
Globally Mangroves are under severe stress and threat. Experts estimate the current global annual Mangrove loss rates at 1% to 2%. If we continue with this trend by the end of this century no Mangrove forest may exist on our planet.
SOCEO, along with all other stakeholders, is committed to work towards preservation and protection of the Mangrove ecosystems.