Apr 19, 2014, 6:13 pm (BST)
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Integrated development and climate programmes for Sundarbans urged
DHAKA, Dec 28 (BSS)- Speakers at a seminar here today called for internalizing all development programmes taken for mangrove forest the Sundarbans with projects taken to face the present and future impacts of climate change in every area of life, livelihood and infrastructure.

Separate adaptation and development plan for Sundarbans and its people will not work, they said calling for immediate steps for revival of the nine rivers in the Sundarbans particularly main flow of the Gorai to help the forests survive without any outside intervention.

The seminar was organized on the occasion of the release of a study conducted by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on impact, vulnerability and adaptation challenges in Indian Sundarbans.

Releasing the findings of the study at a function at BIAM auditorium, President of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) Professor Mojaffar Ahmed said human activities along with technical and mechanical intrusion have changed the extensiveness of and biodiversity and livelihood in the Sundarbans.

He called for anthropological research on Sundarbans in both Bangladesh and Indian to prepare common data to facilitate taking common programems for salvaging the forests.

The CSE, a New Delhi-based research and advocacy organisation, released the study report in Dhaka in partnership with the Bangladesh-based Coastal Development Partnership (CDP).

The report has been released in Dhaka aimed at collecting experiences and viewpoints from both sides of the border and reaching to a common understanding on how to shape action to confront the climate vulnerable future of the world's mangrove forests, organizers said.

The release of the study report was followed by presentations and panel discussion involving some key Bangladeshi experts and commentators on the Sundarbans and climate change.

Senior climate fellow of International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) Dr Saleemul Haq, and Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) Dr Atiq Rahman, Prof. Sharmind Neelormi, Reazul Karim Chowdhury of Equity BD and Deputy Director of CSE Chandra Bhushan, and executive director of CDP Jahangir Hasan Masum, among others, took part in the discussion.

Presenting the study report, author Aditya Ghosh said sea surface temperature (SST) in the Sundarbans is increasing at the rate of 0.5OC per decade against the global average rate of 0.060C per decade.

He said sea level is rising in this region at a rate higher than the global average and in the past 25 years, the sea level has risen at a rate of 8 mm/year, more than double the global average.

The Indian part of Sundarbans has been losing land at 5.5 sq km/year for the last 10 years, he also said adding the frequency of severe cyclone in the region has increased by 26 per cent over the past century.

Speakers called for close collaboration between the research institutions and NGOs of both countries to undertake joint research on impacts of climate change and adaptation strategy.
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