Save Sundarbans: World Heritage Site: Cyclone Amphan Aftermath

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The Sundarbans is the largest delta in the world adorned by mangrove forests, formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal.
Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuaries.The Sundarbans mangrove forest covers an area of about 10,000 square kilometres, of which forests in Bangladesh's Khulna Division extend over 6,017 square kilometres and in West Bengal, they extend over the South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts. The forests provide habitat to 453 faunal wildlife, including 290 bird, 120 fish, 42 mammal, 35 reptile and eight amphibian species.

Following the unprecedented rampage of Cyclone Amphan, the people of Sundarbans stare at a bleak future where nothing but despair looms over them. 72 people has been reported dead because of the cyclone which was claimed to possess the power of three hurricanes. The loss of biodiversity is still unaccounted for. One can only imagine the worst. With their homes washed away and livelihood lost, hunger and poverty decide the fate of the locals as they brace themselves against the wrath of this natural disaster and its irreparable damage. After Cyclone Aila in 2009, the Sundarbans never really revived. Many locals set out in search of livelihood in different parts of the nation. Owing to the pandemic of Covid-19, these migrant workers returned to their homes in hope of some relief. Hardly could they foresee another cyclone rushing towards them, crushing their dreams.

This is to urge UNESCO to come forward and extend a helping hand. Save the Sunderbans before it is too late.