DESCRIPTION OF the PROBLEMS
Sundarbans is the world’s largest adjoining mangrove forest
and is a designated world heritage site. Being a biosphere reserve between
India(10,000 km2) and Bangladesh(6000 km2) it is home to
several species including tigers. The dwelling in the coastal region of Bay of
Bengal supports approximately 4.40 million people. As per the research
conducted it is believed that the Sundarbans have soused in 4.15 crore tonnes
of carbon dioxide. Due to changing of climate the Sundarbans is facing many
challenges these days. With rising sea levels, islands are disappearing and the
increasing salinity in the water and soil has severely threatened the health of
mangrove forests and the quality of soil and crops. Moreover, there have been
serious interruption to hydrological parameters and change in fishing patterns,
resulting in adverse consequences for fishermen. Frequent cyclones and volatile
monsoon raining pattern are damaging environment and humanity. In addition to
general environment protection laws, India has also set up institutes at both
the Central and State levels to specifically tackle the effects of climate
change on Sundarbans. The split responsibilities between Centre and States and
multitude of institutions has resulted in shingle of responsibilities, loss of
time and resources, which makes the institutions impotent. With risk of the
Sundarbans subsiding, there is an urgent need for global reduction of emissions
and replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy. Government should also
promote plantation of local saline resistant seeds. Even as the State and
Central Government of India finalise action plans to deal the problems of
climate change and take steps for poverty alleviation in one of the world’s
poorest regions, there is also requirement to set up flood relief centres and
rapid action response teams to cyclones and storms. The increase in sea level coupled
with other global warming created changes like salinity invasion, large
shoreline erosion, shifting of mud flats and sand dunes, increased turbidity,
temperature, tidal volume, and decreased transparency, nutrients and pH are
supposed to exert huge bio-ecological stresses on mangrove biotic community.
This has resulted in changes of species composition of biotic communities
leading to decline loss of mangrove dependent detritivores, herbivores and
cause and extent of the problem
The Sundarbans delta faces tremendous
pressure by a increasing human population that is economically, socially
and educationally backward and inhabits an area that is mostly inaccessible due
to poor infrastructure facilities. As per 2011 census conducted by the Indian
government, there are approximately 4.37 million people
living in and around the Sundarbans. In the absence of any industry, the vast
majority of the local population in Indian Sundarbans is mainly dependent on
agriculture. But, due to lack of irrigation facilities as well as basic
infrastructure, agricultural practices are primitive and dependent on seasonal
rainfall, yielding poor crop and acts as an erratic source of livelihood. Both
landless as well as land owning people supplement their income by exploiting the mangrove forests, fishing, collecting and
farming tiger prawn seeds in its waters, the latter particularly causing large
scale damage to marine biodiversity. The Sundarbans is an innocent victim of
accelerating global warming and climate change and faces a direct threat to its very existence.
CAUSE AND EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM
1. GREEN HOUSE EFFECT: Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s atmosphere and some of
this is reflected back into space. The rest of the sun’s energy is absorbed by
the land, plants, animals and the oceans, heating the Earth. Heat radiates from
Earth towards the space. Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases such
as water vapor, carbon
dioxide, methane, nitrous
oxide, and ozone in the
atmosphere, keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life. Human activities
such as burning fossil fuels, agriculture and land clearing are increasing the
amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. This is trapping extra
heat, and causing the Earth’s temperature to rise.
2. DEFORESTATION: Trees play a very
important role in the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Deforestation is a process
of cutting trees or clearing forests to make space for pastures or for
industries or households to fulfill the demands of the ever-increasing human
population. Excessive cutting down of trees for urban use and other purposes is
deteriorating environmental balance. Deforestation has several adverse effects
on the environment. One of the major disadvantages of deforestation is that it
disturbs the water cycle. It results in an increase in the amount of carbon and other
greenhouse gases in the environment.
POLLUTION: Burning of fossil fuels such as
petrol, diesel, natural gas etc leads to emission of many green house gases.
Our daily and increased operation of vehicles and numerous industries is
continuously adding harmful gases which causes acid rain hence harming the
sunderbans. The gathering of solid non-boiodegradable waste is also degrading
the soil quality.
ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM
Sundarbans ecosystem is located in climatic hotspot
and also has highly susceptibility sea level rise. Except sea level fluctuation,
the region faces many difficulties like high floods, storms, cyclones surge and
high drainage density, and Stalinization. Moreover, the sea level change,
salinization, and other related events are the major factors that may influence
the changes and dynamics of mangrove ecosystems. In respect to sustainable
management of natural resource in coastal areas closely related to the
association and density of mangrove community. These characteristics primarily
associated with soil, slope, habitat stratigraphy as well as salinity regimes
that can alter the mangrove systems. The increasing sea level and salinity
regimes may affect some edaphic changes, general changes of soil and salinity,
tidally dominated mud flat and groundwater fluctuation and their quality. The
slope of this region also influences the dynamics and adjustment of mangrove
forests along the coastal areas. The dynamics and change mangrove association
1. The inundation of high tidal areas.
2. Ground water fluctuations.
3. Increasing influx frequency.
In the view of the sustainable mangrove management,
Sunderbans has overcome many difficulties like cyclones, inaccessible terrain
condition, and high flood events. However, harmful human activities for their
traditional livelihood generation like, timber collection, farming, and honey
collection are not conducive to their sustainability. In the last few decades
experienced that the rural peoples had destroyed the open mangrove covers
without any management initiative. However, the existing mangroves are not able
to protect against the cyclone like Aila (25 may 2009) and havoc tsunami waves,
which caused of landslide, flooding, tree uprooting, bank erosion and loss of human lives and property lead to the
defragmentation and destruction of mangrove habitat in the intertidal region.
The northern part of Indian border and the adjacent portion has experienced
maximum growth of shrimp farming that influenced the higher rate of
deforestation activities. According to Wikramanayake et al. report,
unsustainable shrimp farms leads to the destruction of mangrove habitat in Sundarban
areas. Islam suggests that the ecosystem management system is inadequate, and
the highest numbers of people are economically dependent on the mangrove
CONTROL OF THE PROBLEM
1. Replace Regular
Incandescent Light bulb: Replace regular incandescent light
bulb with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and LEDs. They consume upto 70%
less energy then ordinary bulbs consumes and have a long lifetime.
2. Drive Less or Carpool: By driving
less you not only save fuel but also help in reducing global warming. Also,
look out for other possibilities, for e.g.: car pooling or using public
transport. If you have colleagues who live in the same area then you can
combine trips. If you need to go to a local market then prefer either walking
or cycling. Both of them are great form of exercise and keeps us fit. The
biggest pollution emitting fumes are caused by oil and gasoline.
Cutting down consumption, is a huge step to reducing energy wastes.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reduce your need to buy new
products, resulting in reducing amount of waste. Focus on buying eco-friendly
products. It is most
effective of the three R’s. Reuse bottles, towels, plastic containers, and
other items bought at the grocery store. Reusing water bottles, pens,
newspapers, yogurt cups, bread ties, and other items is being conscious about
what is already out there. It will lessen having to purchase other items that
would fulfill the same function. Try to use biodegradable products as much as
possible. Avoid throwing them away. Recycling unwanted paper, glass and plastic
containers, bottles, etc is a environment saving tip. Try to upcycle furniture
and other outdated items to keep landfills clean. We can recycle almost
anything for e.g.: paper, aluminum foils, cans, newspapers. By recycling you
can help in reducing landfills.
4. Use Solar appliances: Many people have caught the
energy efficient band carriage of solar energy. Having solar panels installed
is something readily possible and available. Incentives and discounts are given
by some government agencies and energy companies on installation and
maintenance of solar panels.
5. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances: Always buy products that
they can help you save good amount of money on our energy bills. Energy efficient
devices helps us to save energy, save money and also reduces carbon footprint.
6. Reduce Waste: Landfills are the major
contributor of methane and other greenhouse gases. When the waste is burnt, it
releases toxic gases in the atmosphere which results air pollution, acid rain
and finally in global warming. Reusing and recycling old items can significantly
reduce your carbon footprint as it takes far less energy to recycle old items
than to produce items from scratch.
7. Plant a Tree: Planting trees is the best
method which can help much in reducing global warming. They not only give us oxygen
but also absorb in carbon dioxide, during the process of photosynthesis, which
is the main source of global warming.
8. Use Clean Fuel: Electric, smart cars, cars run
on vegetable oil, etc…are great examples for using renewable energy. Supporting
companies that provide these products will help the rest of the mainstream
manufacturing companies convert over.
9. Look for Renewable Fuel Options: If you can’t afford an electric car, buy the cleanest gasoline as
possible. When car shopping, look at the benefits of options that provide
renewable fuel. Although it may be a pretty penny now, you’re on the ground
level of forward thinking.
10. Save Energy: When you consume less, the less
carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Setting your thermostat using
your smart phone or changing the type of light bulb you use is a great start.
11. Replace Filters on Air Conditioner and
you haven’t did then, not only are you wasting energy, but breathing in dirty
air hence spoiling your lungs. Cleaning the dirty air filter can save several
pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
12. Go Green: Using energy star appliances
will not only save money, but also the amount of energy wasted in our houses. Using
of CNG in our cars will also help to reduce air pollution. Keep electronics out
of trash by reusing and reducing unwanted demands. Adopt various ways to
13. Tune Your Car Regularly: Regular maintenance will help
your car function properly and emit less carbon dioxide.
14. Conserve Water: This is also equally important
for survival of current as well as future generations. If we add up the water that
is wasted by the millions of Americans while brushing their teeth, we could
provide water to more than 23 nations with pure, drinking water. Remember, it
takes energy to draw and filter water from underground. Taking a quick 5 minute
shower will greatly conserve energy. The type of shower head used, will also
aid in combating global warming. Take showers instead of baths. Showers use
less water than baths by 25%. Over the course of a year that’s hundreds of
15. Check Your Tires: make sure that your tires are
inflated properly when you are driving. If not, then your vehicle might be
consuming more fuel releasing more CO2 and other polluting gases in
the atmosphere. Always keep your engine properly tuned and drive less
aggressively. Combative driving and frequent applying of brakes nacelles the
engine and can even lower the mileage of the vehicle.
16. Become Aware of Your Contribution and
spread the awareness: With technology within your fingertips, keep trying to find
information about protecting the environment whenever possible. To help emit
less CO2, the first step is being aware of how much you contribute.
Use more and more biodegradable materials like paper or non-woven bags. The
most important step would be invidual contribution towards our environment.
on the impact of global warming on the ecosystem of lndian Sundarbans is still
at an embryo stage. There are many constraints related to this very important
issue .Those are the ability of the regional government to arrest the
alteration of the water quality despite ongoing efforts taken by various levels
of government agencies is recognized Fifteen years after Rio convention and
despite efforts in regional development of Agenda 21 programmes, there is little
evidence of addressing the climate change issue with respect to biodiversity of
the mangrove dominated lndian Sunderbans .The concept of CO2 sink in
the biological community has been ignored although the phytoplankton community
plays a major role as indicator of water quality change and sink for green
house gases and nutrients. Data on
lntegrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) linking the discharge from Himalayan
glaciers through Hooghly river via Farakka barrage on continuous basis may help
to develop a realistic model on alteration of salinity regimes in the western
and eastern part of lndian Sundarbans, Such model may help to correlate the
oscillation of biodiversity with respect to environmental variables (preferably
salinity) of the present geographical locales.