Global warming is a great perl, the most pretentious areasare 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 effectscan be expected to rise with a pace in the course of this century.The SunderbanRainforest are one of the region in India having a great threat.
The Sunderbansis the world’s stupendous mangrove forest. Designated as a United Nations WorldHeritage site in both India and Bangladesh, it covers nearly 4,000square miles (10,000 square kilometers). The forest provides home to the Bengaltiger, as well as other rare and endangered species of aquatic mammals, birds andreptiles.DESCRIPTIONSundarbans mangrove ecosystem, (between21032’–220 40′ North and between 880 85’–89000 East) is an unique, productiveand highly valued ecosystem in terms of economy, environment and ecology(Chakraborty, 2011).
Although, mangroves of India account for only 0.67% of thetotal designated forest area of the country, their presence remain utterlyimportant under growing concern of global reduction of mangrove habitats andneed special attention. The Indian mangroves contribute significantly towardsthe shrinking of global mangrove reserves with approximately 2.7% of theworld’s mangroves those exist along the 7516.6km long coastline of India (Giriet al.,2011). Several conservation strategies have been adopted to protectIndian mangroves in view of ongoing and persisting ecological and anthropogenicthreats.
(Bhatt and Kathiresan, 2012). The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest isparticularly critical and a highly fragile ecosystem because of itscomplexgeo-morphological and environmental settings, enormous populationdensity and gradual shrinking of the islands under the rising Sea level (DasGupta and Shaw, 2013).ASSESSMENT OF BIODIVERSITY Fieldsurveys, collection, and identification of floral and faunal components duringlast two decades following standard literatures (Chaudhuri and Choudhury 1994,Chakraborty, 2011, Giri and Chakraborty, 2012). RECORDING OF PHYSICO-CHEMICALAND METEOROLOGICAL PARAMETERS Different Physico-chemical parameters of soil andwater were analyzed following standard methods (APHA, 2005) and with the helpof water quality checker (Towa, Model No. WQC 22A Japan). Meteorologicalparameters (Rainfall, Temperature) of previous decades were collected from theIndian Meteorological Department, Alipore, Kolkata (Chakraborty et al..
2009).APPLICATION OFREMOTE SENSING AND GISLandsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery has proven to be effective in mappingtemporal and spatial variations in environmental indicators within large waterbodies, as well as phyto-environment, pedological characterization, landuse/cover system etc. For land use/cover thematisation, Optimum Index Factor(OIF) has been used for selecting the potential band combination, which isbased on the total variance within bands and correlation coefficient betweenbands.
The products of vegetation vis-s-vis forest cover mapping derived fromremotely sensed images are being objectively verified and communicated in orderto enable to chalk out proper strategies for sustainable environmentalmanagement. However, the role of vegetation indices and textural imagesimproving land-cover classification performance is still poorly understood,especially in moist tropical vegetated regions such as the Sundarbans mangroveforest areas.TheSundarban Biosphere Reserve which was declared in 1989 is one of the three greatestmarine biosphere reserves in the country. The main objective of the marinebiosphere reserve is protection, conservation and judicious utilization of the marineenvironment. The Sundarbans Project Tiger and National Park and the threeWildlife Sanctuaries i.
e Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary, Lothian IslandSanctuary, Haliday Island Sanctuary are located within the biosphere reserve.The other areas in the reserve are habitations and cultivated fields. Peopleliving in these forest areas are predominantly either fishermen or farmers. TheSundarban Biosphere Reserve has been divided into two regions for effectivemanagement.
They are the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve under the Field Director(Gosaba) and D.F.O Parganas South (Alipore).CAUSES AND ITS EXTENTTigers alreadythreatened by poaching and habitat loss.In addition to climate change, the Sundarbans tigers, likeother tiger populations around the world already face tremendous threats frompoaching and habitat loss. Tiger ranges have fallen by 40 percent over the pastdecade, and tigers today occupy less than seven percent of their originalrange. Scientists fear that accelerating deforestation and rampant poachingcould push some tiger populations to the same fate as their now-extinct Javanand Balinese relatives in other parts of Asia.
Tigers are attacked for their body parts and highly prizedskins, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The 2010 Year of theTiger 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 savethis magnificent Asian big cat.Thecurrent and potential threats to both the aquatic and terrestrial elements ofthe property are many.
Largely effective management of the Sundarbans NationalPark means that current threats to the site are minimized. However, theSundarbans National Park is part of the wider Sundarbans ecosystem, andactivities both within the site’s buffer zone and within the wider Sundarbansand the Bay of Bengal provide cause for concern in regards to the site’sOutstanding Universal Values. Future threats from sea level rise and increasedfrequency and intensity of extreme weather events (storms and tidal surges)under climate change are severe. The site’s ecological and biodiversity valuesare all affected by these pressures and the Outstanding Universal Values of thesite are therefore under serious threat in the future.The largest habitat ofthe Royal Bengal Tiger, the Sundarbans is home to five critically endangeredreptiles, including the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and River Terrapin.The endangered andnear-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 officialfigures, about 175,000 tourists visited the Sundarbans tiger reserve, whileanother 42,000 people visited the biosphere reserve in 2015.Besides large-scaletourism, climate change is also posing a threat to Sundarbans, according toWorld Wildlife Fund-India (WWF-India).
A Climate AdaptationReport released by the group warned that Sundarbans was “already in the midstof a heightened state of danger.”Atmospheric warming iscausing thermal expansion of waters, inducing a sea-level rise of about 12 mmper year, the report said, adding that surface air temperatures over the Bay ofBengal have been rising at a rate of 0.019 degrees Celsius (0.034 degreesFahrenheit) per year.”Given thedisproportionately heavy impact that climate change is expected to have on thisdelta area, the need to improve adaptive management and develop moreappropriate solutions for this unique system has become acutely urgent,” theWWF report said.Ratul Saha, who headsWWF’s Sundarbans Landscape team, said, “The current policies and patterns ofdevelopment have to be completely revised, or else the situation would becatastrophic. The livelihoods and the survival of the people are at risk.
“Climate change has beenfound to be responsible for several cyclonic storms and increased frequency ofextreme weather events in the recent past in the Sundarbans, Saha said. It hasalso been causing coastal erosion, change in embankments, acidification ofwaters and submergence of islands.Analysis of the problemWhile mangroves inherently possess a high resilience to naturaldisturbances such as tropical storms or tsunamis, the effects of anthropogenicdegradation is often irreversible. This is why it is important to reconfiguredevelopment plans by including local requirements and to approach the problemthrough a multiscalar and polycentric manner, instead of looking atconservation and climate change adaptation separately.
More effectiveconservation elicits adaptation co-benefits and vice versa, for examplebio-embankments and beach nourishment, which have provided effective protectionagainst coastal erosion along the Netherlands coasts 96,97. In theSundarbans, this calls for an interdisciplinary collaboration between naturaland social scientists to develop policies addressing conservation and climatechange adaptation. The West Bengal government recently announced a number ofdevelopment measures for the Sundarbans including ecotourism infrastructure 98. Suchdevelopments, if realized, might irreversibly jeopardize the ecosystem, withoutfirst addressing the core problems, i.
e. industrial pollution, upstream diversion schemes,forest clearing, and, importantly, local livelihood needs.