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Possibly best Hope to save unique Sunderbans

A Monitor Report

For the fragile Sundarbans delta, the largest mangrove forest in the world, the global awareness brought by participating in the current New7Wonders campaign could mean survival.

Famed Bengal tiger habitat needs global attention and care to survive, the New7Wonders of Nature Campaign said in a news release recently.

The New7Wonders of Nature Campaign quoted a most recent article in The Telegraph of Kolkata. It said, “Though the UNESCO world heritage site status for the Sundarbans didn’t help much, the ‘wonder’ status just might bring, along with more tourists, more attention and more funds, and may save the Sundarbans.”

Both Sundarbans expert Tushar Kanjilal and Sailen Sarkar, the West Bengal Environment Minister, echo the concerns. In fact, Sarkar has urged India?s Environment and Forest Minister Jayram Ramesh to raise the issue of the Sundarbans at the upcoming Copenhagen summit on climate change.

The article continues by noting that, “Perhaps the wonder status will finally ensure a master plan for the Sundarbans and its people to ensure livelihood and basic services.”

For this and other reasons, West Bengal’s Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has called on his countrymen to support the Sundarban’s bid to become one of the Official New7Wonders of Nature.

Not so long ago, The Bangladesh Monitor drew the attention of the government to urgent need for appropriate action to develop The Sunderbans, according to study completed nearly two decades ago.

This gift of nature can be turned into a highly attractive tourist attraction. But the government has made no noteworthy effort in this direction. Even recommendations of a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) mission failed to make the government realise the importance of development of tourism in the Subdarbans.

An UNWTO, (at that time known as WTO) mission headed by Mike Sharock in its report following Tourism Feasibility Assessment of Mongla and Sundarban in 1992 said, “Because of the ecological sensitivity of the Sunderbans area, it is strongly recommended that areas for tourist development be scattered and small scale in nature”.

Furthermore, the report observed, development should be linked to existing facilities for practical reasons. Much of the investment into developing tourism should be targeted into improving accessibility conditions and into offering a choice of routes and methods of getting to the area.

Bangladesh is the home of 60 per cent of The Sunderbans forest. So, the government of Bangladesh has greater responsibiity to take appropriate measures to save this unique eco system.

This article Possibly best Hope to save unique Sunderbans is quoted from The Bangladeshi Monitor, Bangladesh. December 2009.

To achieve a sustainable tourism development in Sundarbans it is important to highlight that some of the ground study work has already been don. Please read this article Community-Based Tourism in Protected Areas Bangladesh .

There are so many visionary people and valuable resources related to a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. If these forces are united great things will happen – both on grass root, private sector and at government level.
Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’

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Posted in Bangladesh, Development, Performance and management, Sustainability.

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