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.
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.
A chitral (spotted) deer was found in front of a house at Ramnagar village of Dashghar area in Dakop upazila near the Sundarbans on Sunday morning.
A member of the Sundarbans Community Patrol Group (CPG), Zahidul Islam Gazi, said: “The deer jumped into a pond by being scared by the presence of people. But it was later rescued by the locals.”
When informed, Abu, Kailashganj police outpost in-Charge, came to the spot, and released the deer inside the Sundarbans around 1pm.
However, yet another deer was found near a house on the same day. The second deer was similarly set free with the help of forest officials and locals.
According to Abu, the two deer might have entered the village after losing their way in the night fog. Meanwhile, locals believe the deer might have entered the village in search of food.
A local said this was the first time any deer had entered inside their village. Previously in 2003, a tiger swam across the river to the village, and injured four goats before being beaten to death by locals.
The government has planned to conduct the Unesco-prescribed Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in the Sundarbans and adjoining areas to assess the cumulative impacts of development in the world’s largest mangrove forest for going ahead with the 1320 MW coal-fired Rampal Power Plant projects and other industrial schemes.
According to official sources, the government has moved for such a comprehensive study following the Unesco Resolution (Decision 38 COM 7Bb.64 and 39 COM 7B.8) adopted at the 41st session of World Heritage Committee in Poland in July last.
In response to the move to implement the Rampal and some other industrial projects near the Sundarbans, the Unesco resolution asked Bangladesh to conduct the SEA to assess the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts at a landscape and regional scale and uphold its Outstanding Universal Value (OVU).
In ancient times India was a center of higher learning as it is one of the oldest civilization in the world. Hence, historically, universities and libraries were a big part of Indus-Valley civilization. The two famous ancient universities from India and the oldest universities in the world are Takshashila (Taxila) and Nalanda. But these were not the only knowledge centers that existed in ancient India. Education has always been given great prominence in Indian society since the times of the Vedic civilization, with Gurukul and ashrams being the centers of learning. And with evolving times, a large number of centers of learning were established across ancient India of which Takshashila and Nalanda are the most famous ones known today. Here is the list of major ancient universities that flourished across ancient India.
Not every nation can be a France or a Spain, but which countries see the fewest visitors? Take a look at the world’s least-visited countries below (by region and excluding war-torn nations like Syria and Afghanistan). Are you one of the few travellers who has visited one of these places?
Europe – Liechtenstein: 69,000 (up from 57,000 in 2016)
Europe’s second least visited country, with 69,000 arrivals in 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), is Liechtenstein. That’s a rise of 21 per cent on 2015. So what are we all missing? This German-speaking sliver between Austria and Switzerland has astounding mountain scenery, apt for hiking, mountain biking and winter sports, and Vaduz Castle, a 12th century fortress. The eponymous capital has a fine contemporary art gallery – and a postal museum.
Despite their huge ecological and economic value, mangrove forests are disappearing much faster than the average rate of forests around the world. Fortunately, although still patchy, awareness of their ecological and economic value is rising and there are glimmers of hope in the shape of pioneering conservation and community projects.
Mangroves are groups of trees and shrubs that grow in the intertidal zone of sheltered coastlines and estuaries. They are one of the many living systems that shape the boundary between land and sea.
The term “mangrove” is used to describe both the individual plants and the broader ecosystem of the mangrove forest.
Dozens of species of shrubs and trees
There are dozens of different species of mangrove trees and shrubs.
The country is home to breathtaking attractions that have long been waiting to be discovered.
Diversity, culture and natural beauty – Bangladesh is en route to boost itself as a tourist destination with charming getaways and exciting hotspots. An attractive location complete with hospitable people and family-oriented adventures, Bangladesh is a sight to behold.
With effective steps undertaken by the tourism board in Bangladesh to improve accommodation and access, visitors from all over the world could soon be able to indulge in the country’s vibrant customs and experience breathtaking attractions that have long been waiting to be discovered.
The Sundarbans in Khulna
A destination that has long been highlighted by travel books across the world, the Sundarbans spans an area of 10,000 square kilometres and is known to be one of the largest collection of mangrove forests in the world.
Bangladesh may have delivered its climate action plan well before the 2015 COP21 climate talks in Paris, but the country’s leaders are sending mixed messages with their determination to build a $1.7 billion coal-fired power plant. The problem with the 1.3-gigawatt project, however, goes beyond worsening the country’s struggles with air pollution — which, according to the World Bank, contributes to 230 million cases of respiratory disease annually.
The Rampal project would be located near the world’s largest mangrove forest, which is home to endangered species such as the Bengal tiger and Indian python. And as a result, some of the world’s most influential environmental NGOs are fuming.
And a new campaign aiming to pressure international financial lenders such as JPMorgan and Crédit Agricole to turn their backs on the project has so far attracted more than 1 million signatures.
Each year, approximately 30 people are killed by tigers in the Sundarbans – so why do locals revere rather than fear these killer cats?
“In 23 June 1984, I was attacked.”
Phoni Gyen took a seat on a dock overlooking the still waterways of the Sundarbans, a low-lying archipelago in the Ganges Delta, and settled quickly into his gory sermon. A wispy grey hairline retreated from a scarred, sun-dyed face, like a litter-choked river exposing a dry, cracked riverbed.
“We’d spent the morning fishing,” he said, his small audience fidgeting in the fierce Bengal sun. “I was on the riverbank when I heard a noise coming from the trees.
“I tried to run, but before I could move it was on top of me.”
A tiger had pounced on Gyen from a nearby palm tree, pinning him to the ground.