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Changing Environmental Scenario of Sunderbans, India

Author Affiliations

  • 119, Raj Krishna Pal Lane, Kolkata-700 075, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 10, Issue (2), Pages 70-77, April,22 (2021)


Sunderbans, well-known for its mangroves ecosystem, occupies a vast area of 2108.11 sq. km as mentioned in the India State of Forest Report 2019. Mangrove forest area of the Sunderbans has been changing every year along with its other resources including floral and faunal community due to climate change, deforestation and human encroachment. Climatic change has a major impact on sea level rise and the rise of the sea level is observed quite much more at Sunderbans as a result of continuous natural subsidence of the lower part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (GBD) of which Sunderbans is a part of it. Saline water will gradually intrude into the coastal hinterland which will reduce the fresh water availability. Both water and soil get salinized with time. Production of crops, fruits and vegetables, even the medicinal plants occurred in and around the wetlands will be decreased. Fresh water fishes will be disappeared, although brackish water fish species will be produced more and more that leads to the conversion of fresh water aquaculture into the brackish water aquaculture. Luxuriant growth of mangroves will be stunted due to the adverse effects of increased salinity and humidity due to sea level rise. Reclamation and cultivation, thereon, has been accelerated in the Sunderbans that reduce the forest areas of the Sunderbans. Even the areas of the Sunderbans is going to be decreased by taking initiatives of the tourism hub project by the government in the tigers and crocodiles breeding ground. As a consequence of such environmental degradation, the forest areas of the Sunderbans has been changing year by year as computed by the Forest Survey of India.


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