DESCRIPTION OF the PROBLEMS Sundarbans is the world’s largest adjoining mangrove forestand is a designated world heritage site. Being a biosphere reserve betweenIndia(10,000 km2) and Bangladesh(6000 km2) it is home toseveral species including tigers.
The dwelling in the coastal region of Bay ofBengal supports approximately 4.40 million people. As per the researchconducted it is believed that the Sundarbans have soused in 4.15 crore tonnesof carbon dioxide. Due to changing of climate the Sundarbans is facing manychallenges these days. With rising sea levels, islands are disappearing and theincreasing salinity in the water and soil has severely threatened the health ofmangrove forests and the quality of soil and crops. Moreover, there have beenserious interruption to hydrological parameters and change in fishing patterns,resulting in adverse consequences for fishermen. Frequent cyclones and volatilemonsoon raining pattern are damaging environment and humanity.
In addition togeneral environment protection laws, India has also set up institutes at boththe Central and State levels to specifically tackle the effects of climatechange on Sundarbans. The split responsibilities between Centre and States andmultitude of institutions has resulted in shingle of responsibilities, loss oftime and resources, which makes the institutions impotent. With risk of theSundarbans subsiding, there is an urgent need for global reduction of emissionsand replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Government should alsopromote plantation of local saline resistant seeds. Even as the State andCentral Government of India finalise action plans to deal the problems ofclimate change and take steps for poverty alleviation in one of the world’spoorest regions, there is also requirement to set up flood relief centres andrapid action response teams to cyclones and storms. The increase in sea level coupledwith other global warming created changes like salinity invasion, largeshoreline erosion, shifting of mud flats and sand dunes, increased turbidity,temperature, tidal volume, and decreased transparency, nutrients and pH aresupposed to exert huge bio-ecological stresses on mangrove biotic community.
This has resulted in changes of species composition of biotic communitiesleading to decline loss of mangrove dependent detritivores, herbivores andother consumers.cause and extent of the problem The Sundarbans delta faces tremendouspressure by a increasing human population that is economically, sociallyand educationally backward and inhabits an area that is mostly inaccessible dueto poor infrastructure facilities. As per 2011 census conducted by the Indiangovernment, there are approximately 4.37 million peopleliving in and around the Sundarbans. In the absence of any industry, the vastmajority of the local population in Indian Sundarbans is mainly dependent onagriculture. But, due to lack of irrigation facilities as well as basicinfrastructure, agricultural practices are primitive and dependent on seasonalrainfall, yielding poor crop and acts as an erratic source of livelihood. Bothlandless as well as land owning people supplement their income by exploiting the mangrove forests, fishing, collecting andfarming tiger prawn seeds in its waters, the latter particularly causing largescale damage to marine biodiversity. The Sundarbans is an innocent victim ofaccelerating 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 ofthis is reflected back into space. The rest of the sun’s energy is absorbed bythe land, plants, animals and the oceans, heating the Earth.
Heat radiates fromEarth towards the space. Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases suchas water vapor, carbondioxide, methane, nitrousoxide, and ozone in theatmosphere, keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life. Human activitiessuch as burning fossil fuels, agriculture and land clearing are increasing theamount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. This is trapping extraheat, and causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. 2. DEFORESTATION: Trees play a veryimportant role in the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Deforestation is a processof cutting trees or clearing forests to make space for pastures or forindustries or households to fulfill the demands of the ever-increasing humanpopulation. Excessive cutting down of trees for urban use and other purposes isdeteriorating environmental balance.
Deforestation has several adverse effectson the environment. One of the major disadvantages of deforestation is that itdisturbs the water cycle. It results in an increase in the amount of carbon and othergreenhouse gases in the environment. 3.
POLLUTION: Burning of fossil fuels such aspetrol, diesel, natural gas etc leads to emission of many green house gases.Our daily and increased operation of vehicles and numerous industries iscontinuously adding harmful gases which causes acid rain hence harming thesunderbans. The gathering of solid non-boiodegradable waste is also degradingthe soil quality.
4. EXTENT : ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM Sundarbans ecosystem is located in climatic hotspotand also has highly susceptibility sea level rise. Except sea level fluctuation,the region faces many difficulties like high floods, storms, cyclones surge andhigh drainage density, and Stalinization.
Moreover, the sea level change,salinization, and other related events are the major factors that may influencethe changes and dynamics of mangrove ecosystems. In respect to sustainablemanagement of natural resource in coastal areas closely related to theassociation and density of mangrove community. These characteristics primarilyassociated with soil, slope, habitat stratigraphy as well as salinity regimesthat can alter the mangrove systems. The increasing sea level and salinityregimes may affect some edaphic changes, general changes of soil and salinity,tidally dominated mud flat and groundwater fluctuation and their quality. Theslope of this region also influences the dynamics and adjustment of mangroveforests along the coastal areas. The dynamics and change mangrove associationdepends on: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 terraincondition, and high flood events. However, harmful human activities for theirtraditional livelihood generation like, timber collection, farming, and honeycollection are not conducive to their sustainability. In the last few decadesexperienced that the rural peoples had destroyed the open mangrove coverswithout any management initiative. However, the existing mangroves are not ableto 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 thedefragmentation and destruction of mangrove habitat in the intertidal region.The northern part of Indian border and the adjacent portion has experiencedmaximum growth of shrimp farming that influenced the higher rate ofdeforestation activities.
According to Wikramanayake et al. report,unsustainable shrimp farms leads to the destruction of mangrove habitat in Sundarbanareas. Islam suggests that the ecosystem management system is inadequate, andthe highest numbers of people are economically dependent on the mangroveecosystem CONTROL OF THE PROBLEM 1. Replace RegularIncandescent Light bulb: Replace regular incandescent lightbulb 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 drivingless 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 publictransport.
If you have colleagues who live in the same area then you cancombine trips. If you need to go to a local market then prefer either walkingor cycling. Both of them are great form of exercise and keeps us fit. Thebiggest 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 newproducts, resulting in reducing amount of waste. Focus on buying eco-friendlyproducts. It is mosteffective of the three R’s. Reuse bottles, towels, plastic containers, andother items bought at the grocery store. Reusing water bottles, pens,newspapers, yogurt cups, bread ties, and other items is being conscious aboutwhat is already out there.
It will lessen having to purchase other items thatwould fulfill the same function. Try to use biodegradable products as much aspossible. Avoid throwing them away. Recycling unwanted paper, glass and plasticcontainers, bottles, etc is a environment saving tip. Try to upcycle furnitureand other outdated items to keep landfills clean. We can recycle almostanything for e.g.: paper, aluminum foils, cans, newspapers.
By recycling youcan help in reducing landfills.4. Use Solar appliances: Many people have caught theenergy efficient band carriage of solar energy. Having solar panels installedis something readily possible and available. Incentives and discounts are givenby some government agencies and energy companies on installation andmaintenance of solar panels.5.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances: Always buy products thatare energyefficient asthey can help you save good amount of money on our energy bills. Energy efficientdevices helps us to save energy, save money and also reduces carbon footprint.6. Reduce Waste: Landfills are the majorcontributor of methane and other greenhouse gases.
When the waste is burnt, itreleases toxic gases in the atmosphere which results air pollution, acid rainand finally in global warming. Reusing and recycling old items can significantlyreduce your carbon footprint as it takes far less energy to recycle old itemsthan to produce items from scratch.7. Plant a Tree: Planting trees is the bestmethod which can help much in reducing global warming. They not only give us oxygenbut also absorb in carbon dioxide, during the process of photosynthesis, whichis the main source of global warming.8. Use Clean Fuel: Electric, smart cars, cars runon vegetable oil, etc…are great examples for using renewable energy. Supportingcompanies that provide these products will help the rest of the mainstreammanufacturing companies convert over.
9. Look for Renewable Fuel Options: If you can’t afford an electric car, buy the cleanest gasoline aspossible. When car shopping, look at the benefits of options that providerenewable fuel. Although it may be a pretty penny now, you’re on the groundlevel of forward thinking.10.
Save Energy: When you consume less, the lesscarbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Setting your thermostat usingyour smart phone or changing the type of light bulb you use is a great start.11.
Replace Filters on Air Conditioner andFurnace: Ifyou haven’t did then, not only are you wasting energy, but breathing in dirtyair hence spoiling your lungs. Cleaning the dirty air filter can save severalpounds of carbon dioxide a year.12.
Go Green: Using energy star applianceswill not only save money, but also the amount of energy wasted in our houses. Usingof CNG in our cars will also help to reduce air pollution. Keep electronics outof trash by reusing and reducing unwanted demands. Adopt various ways togo green.
13. Tune Your Car Regularly: Regular maintenance will helpyour car function properly and emit less carbon dioxide.14. Conserve Water: This is also equally importantfor survival of current as well as future generations. If we add up the water thatis wasted by the millions of Americans while brushing their teeth, we couldprovide water to more than 23 nations with pure, drinking water. Remember, ittakes energy to draw and filter water from underground. Taking a quick 5 minuteshower will greatly conserve energy.
The type of shower head used, will alsoaid in combating global warming. Take showers instead of baths. Showers useless water than baths by 25%. Over the course of a year that’s hundreds ofgallons saved.
15. Check Your Tires: make sure that your tires areinflated properly when you are driving. If not, then your vehicle might beconsuming more fuel releasing more CO2 and other polluting gases inthe atmosphere. Always keep your engine properly tuned and drive lessaggressively. Combative driving and frequent applying of brakes nacelles theengine and can even lower the mileage of the vehicle.16. Become Aware of Your Contribution andspread the awareness: With technology within your fingertips, keep trying to findinformation about protecting the environment whenever possible.
To help emitless CO2, the first step is being aware of how much you contribute.Use more and more biodegradable materials like paper or non-woven bags. Themost important step would be invidual contribution towards our environment. conclusion Studyon the impact of global warming on the ecosystem of lndian Sundarbans is stillat an embryo stage.
There are many constraints related to this very importantissue .Those are the ability of the regional government to arrest thealteration of the water quality despite ongoing efforts taken by various levelsof government agencies is recognized Fifteen years after Rio convention anddespite efforts in regional development of Agenda 21 programmes, there is littleevidence of addressing the climate change issue with respect to biodiversity ofthe mangrove dominated lndian Sunderbans .The concept of CO2 sink inthe biological community has been ignored although the phytoplankton communityplays a major role as indicator of water quality change and sink for greenhouse gases and nutrients. Data onlntegrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) linking the discharge from Himalayanglaciers through Hooghly river via Farakka barrage on continuous basis may helpto develop a realistic model on alteration of salinity regimes in the westernand eastern part of lndian Sundarbans, Such model may help to correlate theoscillation of biodiversity with respect to environmental variables (preferablysalinity) of the present geographical locales.