© Chiranjib Chakraborty/WWF-India

About Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spread across India and Bangladesh, famous for its unique mangrove forests. This active delta region is among the largest in the world, measuring about 40,000 sq km.
The Sundarbans forest is about 10,000 sq km across India and Bangladesh, of which 40% lies in India, and is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), Water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The forest in India is divided into the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, and together with the forest in Bangladesh is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers are found.

The Sundarbans delta in India has been a priority region for WWF-India since 1973 due to its unique biodiversity. While it supports a sizeable population of wild tigers and other wildlife, it is also an ecologically fragile and climatically vulnerable region that is home to over 4.5 million people. Securing the future of the Sundarbans, its biodiversity and people requires a long term vision that can integrate climate adaptation and conservation strategies along with shorter term interventions such as ensuring sustainable livelihoods, access to clean and sustainable energy and effective human wildlife conflict management.

WWF-India’s vision for this landscape is to develop a climate resilient Sundarbans that supports biodiversity, ecosystems services and sustainable development.

History of WWF-India in Sundarbans

1973: Involved in the Sundarbans since the inception of Project Tiger. Assisted the Sundarbans Forest Department in the first tranquilization of a stray tiger in 1974.

1976: Conducted Environment Education activities through initiatives such as Nature Clubs of India. Supported the Forest Directorate with equipment and training, as well as community engagement to reduce dependence on forest resources.

2007: Established a dedicated Sundarbans programme to address issues of biodiversity conservation and climate change. The strategy for the landscape focused on three thematic areas of biodiversity conservation, adaptation to climate chance, and energy access.
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