Global warming is a great perl, the most pretentious areas
are the coastlines of less developed countries and India is one of them. Mainly,
the deltas of river are facing the brunt of climate change and these effects
can be expected to rise with a pace in the course of this century.The Sunderban
Rainforest are one of the region in India having a great threat.The Sunderbans
is the world’s stupendous mangrove forest. Designated as a United Nations World
Heritage site in both India and Bangladesh, it covers nearly 4,000
square miles (10,000 square kilometers). The forest provides home to the Bengal
tiger, as well as other rare and endangered species of aquatic mammals, birds and
Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem, (between
21032’–220 40′ North and between 880 85’–89000 East) is an unique, productive
and highly valued ecosystem in terms of economy, environment and ecology
(Chakraborty, 2011). Although, mangroves of India account for only 0.67% of the
total designated forest area of the country, their presence remain utterly
important under growing concern of global reduction of mangrove habitats and
need special attention. The Indian mangroves contribute significantly towards
the shrinking of global mangrove reserves with approximately 2.7% of the
world’s mangroves those exist along the 7516.6km long coastline of India (Giri
et al.,2011). Several conservation strategies have been adopted to protect
Indian mangroves in view of ongoing and persisting ecological and anthropogenic
threats.(Bhatt and Kathiresan, 2012). The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest is
particularly critical and a highly fragile ecosystem because of its
complexgeo-morphological and environmental settings, enormous population
density and gradual shrinking of the islands under the rising Sea level (Das
Gupta and Shaw, 2013).
ASSESSMENT OF BIODIVERSITY Field
surveys, collection, and identification of floral and faunal components during
last two decades following standard literatures (Chaudhuri and Choudhury 1994,
Chakraborty, 2011, Giri and Chakraborty, 2012). RECORDING OF PHYSICO-CHEMICAL
AND METEOROLOGICAL PARAMETERS Different Physico-chemical parameters of soil and
water were analyzed following standard methods (APHA, 2005) and with the help
of water quality checker (Towa, Model No. WQC 22A Japan). Meteorological
parameters (Rainfall, Temperature) of previous decades were collected from the
Indian Meteorological Department, Alipore, Kolkata (Chakraborty et al.. 2009).
APPLICATION OFREMOTE SENSING AND GIS
Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery has proven to be effective in mapping
temporal and spatial variations in environmental indicators within large water
bodies, as well as phyto-environment, pedological characterization, land
use/cover system etc. For land use/cover thematisation, Optimum Index Factor
(OIF) has been used for selecting the potential band combination, which is
based on the total variance within bands and correlation coefficient between
bands. The products of vegetation vis-s-vis forest cover mapping derived from
remotely sensed images are being objectively verified and communicated in order
to enable to chalk out proper strategies for sustainable environmental
management. However, the role of vegetation indices and textural images
improving land-cover classification performance is still poorly understood,
especially in moist tropical vegetated regions such as the Sundarbans mangrove
Sundarban Biosphere Reserve which was declared in 1989 is one of the three greatest
marine biosphere reserves in the country. The main objective of the marine
biosphere reserve is protection, conservation and judicious utilization of the marine
environment. The Sundarbans Project Tiger and National Park and the three
Wildlife Sanctuaries i.e Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary, Lothian Island
Sanctuary, Haliday Island Sanctuary are located within the biosphere reserve.
The other areas in the reserve are habitations and cultivated fields. People
living in these forest areas are predominantly either fishermen or farmers. The
Sundarban Biosphere Reserve has been divided into two regions for effective
management. They are the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve under the Field Director
(Gosaba) and D.F.O Parganas South (Alipore).
CAUSES AND ITS EXTENT
threatened by poaching and habitat loss.
In addition to climate change, the Sundarbans tigers, like
other tiger populations around the world already face tremendous threats from
poaching and habitat loss. Tiger ranges have fallen by 40 percent over the past
decade, and tigers today occupy less than seven percent of their original
range. Scientists fear that accelerating deforestation and rampant poaching
could push some tiger populations to the same fate as their now-extinct Javan
and Balinese relatives in other parts of Asia.
Tigers are attacked for their body parts and highly prized
skins, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The 2010 Year of the
Tiger will mark an important year for conservation efforts to save wild tigers,
with WWF continuing to play a vital role in implementing bold new ideas to save
this magnificent Asian big cat.
current and potential threats to both the aquatic and terrestrial elements of
the property are many. Largely effective management of the Sundarbans National
Park means that current threats to the site are minimized. However, the
Sundarbans National Park is part of the wider Sundarbans ecosystem, and
activities both within the site’s buffer zone and within the wider Sundarbans
and the Bay of Bengal provide cause for concern in regards to the site’s
Outstanding Universal Values. Future threats from sea level rise and increased
frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (storms and tidal surges)
under climate change are severe. The site’s ecological and biodiversity values
are all affected by these pressures and the Outstanding Universal Values of the
site are therefore under serious threat in the future.
The largest habitat of
the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Sundarbans is home to five critically endangered
reptiles, including the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and River Terrapin.
The endangered and
near-threatened species in Sundarbans include the Asian Giant Softshell Turtle,
Indian Rock Python, King Cobra, Greater Adjutant Stork, Black-headed Ibis,
Fishing Cat and Gangetic Dolphin.
According to official
figures, about 175,000 tourists visited the Sundarbans tiger reserve, while
another 42,000 people visited the biosphere reserve in 2015.
tourism, climate change is also posing a threat to Sundarbans, according to
World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF-India).
A Climate Adaptation
Report released by the group warned that Sundarbans was “already in the midst
of a heightened state of danger.”
Atmospheric warming is
causing thermal expansion of waters, inducing a sea-level rise of about 12 mm
per year, the report said, adding that surface air temperatures over the Bay of
Bengal have been rising at a rate of 0.019 degrees Celsius (0.034 degrees
Fahrenheit) per year.
disproportionately heavy impact that climate change is expected to have on this
delta area, the need to improve adaptive management and develop more
appropriate solutions for this unique system has become acutely urgent,” the
WWF report said.
Ratul Saha, who heads
WWF’s Sundarbans Landscape team, said, “The current policies and patterns of
development have to be completely revised, or else the situation would be
catastrophic. The livelihoods and the survival of the people are at risk.”
Climate change has been
found to be responsible for several cyclonic storms and increased frequency of
extreme weather events in the recent past in the Sundarbans, Saha said. It has
also been causing coastal erosion, change in embankments, acidification of
waters and submergence of islands.
Analysis of the problem
Parts of the Sundarbans are legally protected as
national parks and sanctuaries, and there is a special focus on tiger
conservation. Yet, its future now depends on local actions that will protect
the banks from erosion, and policies that address the pressures created on
natural resources by lack of human development. Suggestions for fortification
against erosion on the lines of the dikes in The Netherlands merit scientific
evaluation. Strengthening them with endemic plant and tree species that can
thrive in changing salinity conditions can provide co-benefits to local
communities. Carefully considered ecotourism holds the potential to raise
awareness and funds, since the Sundarbans harbour a raft of bird and animal
species. There is also a strong case for international climate finance to be
channelled to India and Bangladesh for the region’s preservation, given its global
uniqueness. It is vital that local communities are pulled out of poverty, which
would also relieve the pressure on natural resources. Climate research and
social science thus have a synergistic role in giving the Sundarbans a greater
chance of survival.