Sundarbans | WWF
© Niladri Sarkar

Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is the only place in the world where tigers live among coastal mangrove forests.

This mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (4,267sq.km in India), includes clusters of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal and is also home to globally important species such as the South Asian river dolphin and the olive ridley turtle. This landscape is connected by the eastern mangrove coastline to Bangladesh.

The Indian Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a Ramsar site, has been a priority region in India for WWF since 1973 due to its unique biodiversity. While it supports a sizable population of wild tigers and other wildlife, it is also an ecologically fragile region which is highly vulnerable to climate change. Wildlife and local communities are bearing the brunt of climate change as the low-lying islands of the landscape are very susceptible to flooding.

This landscape also has one of the highest human tiger conflict rates in the world. This together with building resilience to climate change with communities is the focus for WWF in the area.

The future of the Indian Sundarbans will largely depend on how well it adapts to climate change and integrates conservation strategies. As well as building its resilience to the ongoing threat, WWF is providing shorter-term solutions such as ensuring sustainable livelihoods, access to clean and sustainable energy and effective human wildlife conflict management.