The Sundarbans is the world's largest continuous mangrove area, covering some 10,000 square kilometer of land and water within the Ganges Delta, with some 62% (6,017 square kilometer) located in Bangladesh and the reminder in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Sundarbans play an important role in the economy of the southern region of Bangladesh as well as in the national economy. The forest also has immune defensive and productive functions. Constituting 51% of the total reserved forest estate of Bangladesh it contributes about 41% of total forest revenue and accounts for about 45% of all timber and fuel wood output of the country. About 4.01% of the total area of Bangladesh which belongs to Sundarbans and 39.5% of total forest that plays an important role to protect from environmental catastrophe of the country. Rapid climate change also is posing a threat on the existence of Sundarbans. We can see that about 3 lakh people directly and also more than 10 lakh people indirectly are dependent on this forest.
After the attack of SIDR & AILA on Sundarbans, government banned license BLC (Boat License Certificate) for one year to recover the previous image and most of the communities were forced to quit their profession and they came to town or city looking for a job for sustaining their family. Beside, many of them were jobless or passing miserable condition. As a result, now about 48% people near Sundarbans live under 'upper poverty line' according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). Beside, the people of this region live in physically vulnerable circumstances. The area is cyclone prone, monsoonal and low-lying, with many settlements located adjacent to the waterways and coastline.
There are various communities who are fully dependent on Surdarbans such as nip collector, honey collector, fishermen, wood picker, woodcutter etc and their number are nip collector-150000, honey collector-8000, Carpenter (boat repairman) -2000, Carpenter (Wood picker) -1000, Carpenter (Dependent on Sundarbans articles) -15000, fishermeen including different business-1,15,000 and others labor- 10000. It is said that after attack of SIDR & AILA most of the professionals are faced with problems and they are failed to continue their activities as a result they are now unemployed. Also, after the attack of those two powerful natural forces on Sundarbans, it has become the vulnerable circumstances than before and about a quarter of the world heritage sites Sunderbans were damaged. Researchers said mangrove forest Sundarbans will take at least 40 years to recover itself from this catastrophe.
It has been discussed a lot regarding preservation and development of Sundarban but it did not bring a good result. The government is reluctant to remove the drawbacks of the Sundarbans that would ease the further destruction. Now the communities of the area are afraid of entering into forest without giving charge and fish dacoit, forest robber, smuggler are so prevalent in the forest that we can lost huge resources and it would be the place of them that helps to deceive the forest in no time.
Beside, there is a conflict between Man-Animal, Man-Forest, and Wild Animal - Forest and it should be stopped by taking adequate steps for the conservation of the Sundarbans. The government started once the SBCP (Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project) and IPAC (Integrated Protected Area Co-management) programs for entering into the forest of the communities but now it has stopped SBCP that hamper the livelihood of the communities in the forest area. The government also should take some steps like Eco-development, Village Forest Protection Committees, Education and Awareness, protection squads, Rural services for women; Implementation of the Fish Act: Awareness-building and species protection; Training in sustainable fry collection; Tree planting schemes and a nursery development program; Strip plantation along embankments, roads and highways etc for the protection of our Sundarbans. It is needed to accord with community to conserve the forest because they are able to provide sufficient knowledge regarding the protection of Sundarbans.
So, we should come forward to preserving Sundarbans at any cost for the development of the country and to increase awareness regarding Sundarbans for the protection of the future generation.