Environmental Management and Biodiversity Conservation Plan for Sundarbans’ Biodiversity
Supported by the World Bank
Implemented by IUCN Bangladesh Country Office
The Sundarbans is the world’s largest mangrove forest and a unique ecosystem. It is home to an estimated 425 species of wildlife, including 300 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, including the Bengal Tiger.
The forest is also a reproductive ground for numerous fish species and acts as a buffer to protect the coastline against cyclones, rising sea tides and other hazardous natural events. In recognition of its importance, UNESCO declared Sundarbans a world heritage site in 1997.
Extreme natural events and unsustainable human activities are destroying the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and putting its unique ecosystem under threat. The region is facing a number of threats, including the high probability of rising sea levels, salt intrusions on inland areas, extreme natural events, increasing human population and unsustainable anthropogenic activities for livelihoods and economic growth.
To alleviate the situation and protect the rich biodiversity of the Sundarbans, the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank are supporting the design of a strategic plan that can respond to the development challenges of the region through non-lending technical assistance (NLTA).
NLTA will support the preparation of a series of studies that will enable the Government of Bangladesh to develop an action plan for the Sundarbans that addresses three climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and income growth and poverty reduction.
IUCN Bangladesh will develop a strategy and action plan for the management and biodiversity conservation for Sundarbans.
- Fill information gaps that constrain informed decision-making in the Sundarbans;
- Generate knowledge on biodiversity and explore conservation options that produce local benefits;
- Identify policy reforms, investments and technical assistance needed to bolster the capacity of governmental agencies to address the environmental priorities linked with biodiversity conservation; and
- Identify cost-effective investment options to enhance the welfare of the people living in the Sundarbans periphery areas and conserve biodiversity in the Sundarbans.
Scope of work
- Assess and map threats to biodiversity;
- Provide stakeholder analysis;
- Collaborate with WWF India on regional dialogue; and
- Prepare a Strategic Biodiversity Conservation and Management Plan for the Sundarbans and its ecologically critical area.
- Formulate an advisory and review panel;
- Collate issues related to Strategic Biodiversity Conservation and Management Plan
- Review literature on threats to biodiversity;
- Organize workshops and conduct field surveys to assess and map threats to biodiversity;
- Provide analysis on stakeholders, their roles, actions and impact;
- Conduct an inventory of biodiversity of the Sundarbans forest (include both Indian and Bangladeshi parts) based on secondary literature;
- Establish a transboundary platform for conservation of Sundarbans between Bangladesh and India;
- Assist the organization of a international workshop on biodiversity conservation in the Sundarbans;
- Provide an evaluation of impacts of policy, strategy and sector plans on biodiversity;
- Formulate strategy and action plans for biodiversity conservation; and
- Conduct a stakeholders’ analysis workshop on strategy and action plan.
- Strategic Biodiversity Conservation Management Plan.