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WFM 6311
CLIMATE CHANGE RISK MANAGEMENT
PROBABLE IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY OF
SUNDERBANS DUE TO SEA LEVEL RISE
PRESENTED BY
EMDAD YUSUF – 1009282010
MD. ASHFAQUR RAHMAN – 1009282013
Background of the study:
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“Royal Bengal Tigers may go extinct by turn of century - reveals study” says a
report by prominent English daily THE DAILY STAR, on 1st March’2010. The
report also said, “The Royal Bengal Tigers, one of the world’s largest big cat
populations, could disappear by the end of this century as rising sea levels
caused by climate change destroy their habitat along the Sundarbans coast.”
Sundarban is the single largest block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the
world noticeably rich in terms of plant and animal diversity The number of
species found is nearly as many as those reported for Malaysia and Indonesia
(CHAPMAN, 1976).
It is also a center of economic activities, such as extraction of timber, fishing
and collection of honey.
More interestingly, the Bangladesh and Indian portion of the forest are listed
in the UNESCO world heritage list separately as the Sundarban i.e.the
“beautiful forest” and Sundarban National Park respectively, though they are
simply parts of the same forest.
Unless immediate action is taken, The Sundarbans, its wildlife and the natural
resources that sustain millions of people may disappear within 50 to 90 years.
This satellite image shows the forest in the protected area. The Sundarbans
appears deep green, surrounded to the north by a landscape of agricultural
lands, which appear lighter green, towns, which appear tan, and streams, which
are blue
Objective of the study
• To understand the
biodiversity of Sunderban
• To asses the impact on
biodiversity due to sea level
rise
• Possible actions to combat
the situation
SUNDARBAN: GEO-ECOLOGICAL PROFILE
• The forest floor is 0.91m to 2.11m above mean sea level.
• The soil is a silty clay loam with alternate layers of clay, silt
and sand. The clay surface is clay except on the seaward
side of islands in the coastal surface limits, where sandy
beaches occur.
• Rivers in the Sundarbans are meeting places of salt water
and freshwater.
• It is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways,
mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove
forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing
ecological processes.
• Sundarbans is divided into three distinct ecological zones
namely Oligohaline zone (salinity < 6,250 micromhos)
mesohaline zone (6,250 < salinity <12,500 micromhos )
Polyhaline zone (salinity >12,500 micromhos)
Biodiversity of Sundarban:
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Largest diversity of mangrove plants on the Globe characterized
by a very dynamic environment due to characterized the effect
of tide, flooding, salinity, and cyclones.
Only this mangrove area on earth inhabited by man-eating tigers
The forest has a unique biota comprising:
334 species of plants
49 species of mammals
400 species of fish
320 species of birds
53 species of reptiles
11 amphibian species
Numerous invertebrates, phytoplankton, fungi, bacteria,
zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, mollusks etc.
At least 37 species of 'obligate' mangrove plants, 127 species of
euryhalinefish, a total of 1287 animal species comprising 873
invertebrates, 1 species of Hemichordata, and 413 species of
vertebrates
Importance of Sundarbans:
Tourism
• Conservation tourism
or ecotourism may be
developed for the
Sundarbans without
causing undue
Wildlife Sanctuaries
disturbance to the
forest and wildlife
•There are three wildlife
sanctuaries established in
• The fishing operation
1977 under the Bangladesh
during winter months
Wildlife (Preservation) Order,
can also be developed
1973 (P.O. 23 of 1973)
as an interesting
•The World Heritage
tourist spot.
Committee of UNESCO has
declared the Sundarbans as
its 522nd World Heritage Site
for its outstanding scenic
beauty and biological traits
The major forest
products of Sundarbans
• Timber and industrial raw
material.
• Fuelwood.
• Thatching material.
• Non-wood forest products
Sea level rise
Sea level rise in Bangladesh and its potential impacts
Year
2020
2050
2100
Sea level rise
10 cm
25 cm
1 m (high end
estimate)
Land below
SLR
2 % of land
(2,500 km2)
4 % of land (6,300 17.5% of land
km2)
(25,000 km2)
Ecosystem
Inundates 15% of
the Sundarbans.
Salinity
Increase
Inundates 40% of
the
Sundarbans.
Increase
The Sundarbans
wouldbe lost.
Increase
Sea level rise (contd.)
Increase of tidal level in two coastal stations of Bangladesh coast
Tidal Station Region
Hiron Point
Western
Char Changa Central
Latitude (N)
Longitude
(E)
Datum (m)
Trend
21048'
89028'
3.784
(mm/year)
4.0
22008'
91006'
4.996
6.0
Fate of the Sundarbans with different sea level rise
Sea level rise
Potential impacts
10 cm
25 cm
45 cm
60 cm
1 metre
will inundate 15% of the Sundarbans
will inundate 40% of the Sundarbans
will inundate 75% of the Sundarbans
will inundate the whole Sundarbans
will destroy the whole Sundarbans
Impacts due to sea level rise:
• The main impact of sea level rise on water resources is the reduction off
fresh water available due to salinity intrusion. Both water and soil salinity
along the coast will be increased with the rise in sea level
• Increased salinity will change the habitat pattern of the forest. Sundari, the
most typical kind of tree in the Sundarbans is thought to suffer from top
dyeing disease because of increased salinity (Kausher et al., 1993).
• Aquatic organisms will migrate inward, because of increased salinity too
• As a consequence of salinity penetration in the Sundarbans, majority of the
mesohaline areas will be transformed into polyhaline areas, while
oligohaline areas would be reduced to only a small pocket along the lowerBales war river in the eastern part of the forest. (Ahmed, et al. 1998).
Impacts due to sea level rise (contd.)
• The resultant increase in salinisation and accretion of sediments may alter
vegetation composition. Impacts on animal communities may also occur
due to both, the direct effects of salinity and indirectly through food chain
modifications caused by the alterations in the nature and amount of
detritus available in the mangrove ecosystem, which is directly a threat to
the living bio-diversity.
• Eventually the species offering dense canopy cover would be replaced by
non-woody shrubs and bushes, while the overall forest productivity would
decline significantly. The degradation of forest quality might cause a
gradual depletion of rich diversity of the forest flora and fauna of the
Sundarbans ecosystem
• Natural habitat will be destroyed due to inundation
How to combat the situation
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Designing and establishing sea-level / climate modeling network
Establishing databases and information systems
Data collection of Sundarbans' resources and their uses
Integrated coastal and marine management
Monitoring the impact of climate change on coral reef, Royal Bengal
Tiger, crocodiles and Sundari tree
Coastal vulnerability and risk assessment
Economic valuation of Sundarbans' resources
Improving catchment management
Afforestation and reforestation by salt tolerant species
Strict control of Tigers' poaching
How to combat the situation (contd.)
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Facilitating natural regeneration and natural
succession of native tree species
Increasing waterfront setbacks in beach front areas
Education on climate change and emergency
preparedness needs to take place at all levels by
incorporating it into education curriculum
Creating public awareness through mass media
Developing coastal infrastructure
Initiating community based coastal forestation
Protecting existing mangroves against
encroachment and cutting
Establishing mechanisms to promote carbon uptake
Raising funds for conservation programme.
Thanks for hearing us and hope it was not bad
Lets save the tigers
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