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Transformation of the Sundarbans Eco-region: Lessons from Past Approaches and Suggested Development Options

  • Anamitra Anurag DandaEmail author
  • Mowdudur Rahman
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 30)

Abstract

Transformation of forests to agriculture is common but the scale of transformation of the Sundarbans under British administration was such that it changed the physical configuration of the region. Post-independence, despite the knowledge that brackish river water is a serious constraint, rice cultivation has been persisted with. Rising population and tidal waters, declining land and productivity, as well as more intense storms are making the already non-conducive situation worse. Options for resilient and sustainable development in the eco-region, therefore, have to be explored beyond climate-sensitive primary production systems. In a biodiversity rich area with a large population, finding resilient and sustainable development options involve direct trade-off. Under such situations Portfolio Decision Analysis (PDA) framework is useful in allocating management actions to pursue options that maximise natural assets while minimising impact on human assets. Based on a hierarchy of objectives and criteria, Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a valuable tool to decide on options ranging from elevation recovery of forested and inhabited islands, brackish water culture fishery, and tourism, to rapid urbanization in safer locations and planned retreat under 2 °C warming scenario, a very likely prospect at the turn of the century. Given that the currently implemented policies are not strong enough to achieve the pledges governments have made under the Paris Agreement, the article examines tourism in some detail, including jointly managed trans-boundary tourism. Finally, the article examines the challenges in realising the potential of jointly managed tourism in Sundarbans and proposes ways of overcoming the challenges.

Keywords

Sundarbans Mangrove Biodiversity World Heritage Site Sustainable development Portfolio Decision Analysis (PDA) Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) Eco-tourism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WWF-IndiaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Coastal Environmental Conservation, BangladeshKhulnaBangladesh

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