Mangroves and Wetlands Ecosystem Management in Bangladesh – Dr. Shafi Noor Islam

The Sundarbans (6017 km2) one of the largest productive mangrove forests wetland site located in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Rivers delta region. The coastal mangrove wetland is playing a potential role in balancing ecology and livelihoods of the coastal region. It is hotspot of mangrove biodiversity with 373 faunal and 324 floral species. Over 3.5 million inhabitants are directly or indirectly dependent on mangrove goods and services. Moreover it is a unique position not only forestry but also in terms of deltaic landscapes, eco-tourism, culture and heritage. UNESCO has declared as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1997. Furthermore it is a dynamic, fragile, complex ecosystem is delicate with the factors of soil water and environment. The climate change and anthropogenic disturbs on the Sundarbans, have transformed natural landscapes through the poses of fire, hunting, agriculture, and shrimp farming.

Since the diversion of Ganges freshwater at Farakka Barrage in India from early 1975, salinity levels have increased drastically in the coastal region in Bangladesh. The reduction of Ganges flow has made disastrous effects on agriculture, fisheries, hydro morphology, drinking water and mangrove ecosystem and coastal landscapes. The present coastal mangrove wetland ecosystem conservation and planning policy is inadequate. In previous the average water salinity value was 54025 dS/m which is sensitive for some species like (Sundari) Heritiera fomes, Nypa fruticans and Phoenix paludosa are affected which is recognized by top-dying disease is threat to mangrove wetland ecosystem. The present water salinity value is 69152 dS/m which is sensitive and poses threats to mangrove wetland ecosystem. The Sundarbans site has outstanding universal values to humanity is diminishing on a global scale. Therefore, an integrated coastal landscape management planning is necessary for better conservation.