Sundarbans landmass shrinking

Ensure proper management of the world’s largest mangrove forest

Published : 15 Feb 2023 08:30 PM

Landmass of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world is shrinking year by year due to various factors including encroachment, pollution and impacts of climate change. Sundarbans has repeatedly been exposed to a wide range of threats because of rapid industrialisation in and around it. When the British left India, the Sundarbans was 37,813 square kilometres in size. Today, it has already shrunk to a mere 10,000 square kilometres - 6,000 in Bangladesh and 4,000 in India. With the increasing unplanned industrialisation going on around it, the area will get reduced further for sure.

In needs no mentioning that in order to conserve the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and protect Royal Bengal Tiger and other animals, the government has taken various praiseworthy initiatives in the last decade. The government with the help of local authorities has been relentlessly working to prevent forest crime and create alternative employment opportunities for local people dependent on the Sundarbans.

The government with the help of local 

authorities has been working to prevent 

forest crime and create alternative 

employment opportunities for local

people dependent on the Sundarbans

However, still different kinds of illegal activities have been potentially harming the Sundarbans and its biodiversity. The forest is supposed to be a sanctuary for its vast flora and fauna. Instead, it has become a safe haven for smugglers and poachers who illegally snatch away its natural resources.

In order to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest, we must avert all kinds of illegal activities in and around Sundarbans by ensuring proper management and maintenance. The forest department should deploy adequate manpower to monitor the illegal activities of poachers and the land grabbers. 

Necessary steps should be taken to shut down the establishments that are harmful to the Sundarbans. Also, the people who are involved in harming the forest should be held to account. Activities such as cutting woods, poaching and building establishments inside the critical area should not be allowed. Last but not least, those industries in and around the Sundarbans should be compelled by the authorities concerned to explain what measures they have taken to control pollution and waste management.