|Project Details||The Sundarban Biosphere Reserve covers a vast area of 4,262 sq. km. in India alone, with a larger portion in Bangladesh. The area had been under Sundarban reserve forest established under Notification No. 15340-FOR, dt.09.08.1928. The Sundarban Reserve was declared as a Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973, a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1977, and as a Biosphere reserve in 1989. |
In December 2007, the limits of the core area extended up to an area of 1,699.62 sq. km. notified as the Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH), which comprise Chamta, Netidhopani, Matla, Chhoto Hardi, Goashaba, Mayadwip, Gona, Baghmara and Chandkhali. The rest of the area of 885.27 sq. km has been designated as the buffer zone; within the buffer zone, Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 362.335 sq. km. Apart from this, Halliday Island Wildlife Sanctuary covers 5.8 sq km and the Lothian Wildlife Sanctuary 38.9 sq km. They all fall within the reserved forest area outside the Tiger Reserve.
The notification of 18 December 2007, incorporated four new forested islands within the cluster of ‘core’ or ‘inviolate’ areas. These four blocks with their subsequent compartments include Chamta (1-3), Baghmara (1), Netidhopani (1-3) and Chandkhali (1-4), covering total 369.53 km², in addition to the previous 1330.12 sq. km². Since the chapter in which the passage occurs has been written by a noted forester and Sundarbans forest expert, Pranabes Sanyal, one assumes that this proposed zone demarcation was done on the basis of necessary scientific study pertaining to the needs of tiger conservation. Yet, the chapter does not refer to any such study, though Section 38V of the WLPA, on which this demarcation depends, requires such habitat to be established not by mere fiat, but “on the basis of scientific and objective criteria”.
The Sundarbans National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, falls within the core area of the tiger reserve and is a protected zone where no human activity is permitted under the West Bengal state government policy.
According to a 2015 study on the Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserve in India, it is estimated that the Sundarban Tiger Reserve provides flow benefit worth benefit of INR 12.8 billion ( EUR 158 million euro) annually. These important ecosystem services include nursery function (INR 5.17 billion – EUR 64.05 million), gene-pool protection (INR 2.87 billion year – EUR 35.55 million), provisioning of fish (INR 1.6 billion year – EUR 19.82 million) and waste assimilation services (INR 1.5 billion year – EUR 18.5 million). Other important services emanating from Sundarbans include generation of employment for local communities (INR 36 million year – EUR 446 thousand), moderation of cyclonic storms (INR 275 million year – EUR 3 million), provision of habitat and refugia for wildlife (INR 360 million year – EUR 4.4 million) and sequestration of carbon (INR 462 million year- EUR 5.7 million). These valuable services get distributed for the 44 per cent to the global society, 39 per cent goes to the national income and only 16 per cent of this services remains to the local people.
|Environmental justice organisations and other supporters||All Indian Uion of Forest Working People (AIFWP), |
Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (DFM).
International Collective in Support of Fisher workers, https://www.icsf.net/;
Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action (DISHA), http://www.dishaearth.org/About%20Us.html.
Sundarban Jana Sramajibi Manch (SJSM)