With the bio-diversity of Sunderbans facing threat, India and Bangladesh have decided to join hands to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest and a joint forum will be formed soon in this direction.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has invited his Bangladeshi counterpart to discuss the issue of environmental degradation of Sunderban ecosystem and prepare a joint action plan to meet the challenges.

“There will be a joint forum between India and Bangladesh for protection of Sunderban ecosystem that spreads from India to Bangladesh,” he said at a press conference.

Situated at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, the Sunderbans covers an area of around 10,000 sq km of which 4,262 sq km is in India and the rest in Bangladesh.

Mr. Ramesh said the Sunderban ecosystem is very special and sensitive and faces threat due to environmental degradation. About 50 lakh people are living in Sunderban Biosphere and Sagar island. There are 70-80 tigers in this area. The bio-diversity, mangrove and people are under threat, he said.

Comprising the largest expanse of mangroves and a unique tiger habitat, Sunderbans is facing a serious threat to its ecosystem from poaching and rampant felling of trees.

Of the 60 varieties of mangroves and mangrove associates that are found in India, the Sunderbans accounts for 50, many of which are rare.

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