Friday, June 18, 2004

Our coast and threats to it

Coastal resources are vital for many local communities and indigenous people. For a country like Bangladesh, coastal zones are the most available areas for development activities. However, unlike other countries, Bangladesh has a very peculiar and unique coastline. Any initiation regarding drawing baseline to delimit maritime boundaries, managing stakeholders involved in coastal business in any capacity, conserving coastal bio-diversity, protecting coastal ecosystem from any invasion necessitate having a clear idea about the special features of the coast and threats to it.

Bangladesh has the largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans (one of the RAMSAR site and also declared as the World Heritage according to the provision given in World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention) on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. The whole forest 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. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Royal Bengal Tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

No comments: