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The Sundarbans mangrove forest which is one of the largest contiguous forests in the world is under threat by “heedless industrialisation”, according to a UN rights expert. Situated in the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, the forest is home to several endangered species. But concerning the growing threat on this UNESCO World Heritage Centre, UN has recommended Government of Bangladesh to halt the industrialisation process, as of now.
Being the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans are rich in biodiversity. Bangladesh has declared three dolphin sanctuaries within the Sundarbans. “One of them is very close to the proposed plant,” says wildlife expert Ronald Halder in Dhaka. Effluent from the plant and coal transportation will severely impact the sanctuaries, adds Halder.
The Sundarbans is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spread across India and Bangladesh, famous for its unique mangrove forests. The Sundarbans is a vast forest in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal and considered one of the natural wonders of the world. It was recognised in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bangladesh. it is Located in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins, this unique forest extends across Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat districts of Bangladesh and South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal, India. The Sundarbans contain the world’s largest coastal mangrove forest, with an area of about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi), of which about 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi) are located in Bangladesh and about 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi) in India.
Read more from source: Environmental movement: save Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Traces of human presence dating back some 1,000-1,200 years have been found in the world’s largest coastal mangrove forest in southwest Bangladesh, according to local and foreign researchers.
The remains of the near-ancient buildings were discovered in five places within the Sundarbans forest, and various artefacts have also been found in forest areas up to 83 kilometres away.
These findings were revealed by a local independent researcher, Ism Azam.
Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, an archaeologist at Jahangirnagar University and executive director of Oitihya Onneswan (Explore the Heritage), an archaeological research group, told Anadolu news agency that this discovery adds a new chapter to the history of Bangladesh.
“If a deeper study of those structures is done, we may uncover many facts about the Sundarbans and the history of this land.
“More in-depth research is needed to determine how long and exactly when they were here,” he added.
Comilla University archaeologist Shohrab Uddin, also at Oitihya Onneswan, said the discovery will add a new dimension to the Sundarbans’ history.