The Centre is likely to chalk out a detailed action plan to save the Sunderbans, one of the most-threatened deltas and largest mangrove forests in the world, from the impact of climate change.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh will visit the Sunderbans on January 12 to look into its protection and long-term ecological sustainability.

“It is a unique challenge as far as the Sunderbans is concerned because of its vulnerability to climate change and Alia-like hurricanes. I will be visiting there on January 12 to see what we can do to combat the situation,” Mr. Ramesh said on the sidelines of a function on Monday.

The visit is in response to the constant reminder from the West Bengal Government to the Centre on increased cyclonic activities and tidal amplitude, besides accelerated erosion leading to disappearance of certain islands like Ghoramara, which threatens the existence of Sunderbans.

Mr. Ramesh said a national Institute for Mangrove Research is being established in the Sunderban area to provide a scientific approach in preserving the countries mangroves.

He also said the vulnerability of sea-facing inhabited islands in the mangrove needed to be evaluated, besides construction of bridges to provide for evacuation in case of sea-rise situation or Alia-like hurricanes in the future.

Sunderbans is home to 43 lakh Indians who inhabit 52 non-forest islands. It is also the biggest mangrove tiger habitat, comprising 104 odd islands and covering an area of 3,500 square km.

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