World Bank Report on Sunderbans

Date: February 22, 2015

World Bank Sundarbans UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program Archipelago

Building resilience for sustainable development of the Sundarbans: World Bank

The report  'Building Resilience for Sustainable Development of the Sundarbans' is prepared by the World Bank in collaboration with the West Bengal government. It cocludes that the environmental damage in the climate change-hit islands of Sundarbans is costing India Rs 1,290 crore each year.

The cost is divided into two segments-

a- Environmental damage associated with ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss is about Rs 6.7 billion (Rs 670 crore) annually

b- The cost of health effects due to poor environment is estimated at Rs 6.2 billion (Rs 620 crore).

The losses are due to factors associated with unsustainable and inefficient economic activities in Sundarbans.These  include mangrove destruction, impact of cyclones, reduced agricultural yields and unsustainable fisheries as well as destruction of ecosystem services. 

Damage due to cyclones are the highest. It accounts for damages worth Rs. 290 crore. It includes damages to houses, agriculture, human injuries and fatalities.



The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Indian portion of the Sunderbans forest a World Heritage Site in 1987, and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program has included the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve in the Global Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves Contributing to Action on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. 

Sundarbans is an archipelago of 54 islands and is home to about 44 lakh people.

Terms used-

Archipelago:- An archipelago is a chain, cluster or collection of islands.