Kolkata: India and Bangladesh on Sunday decided
to set up a joint Sundarbans Eco-System Forum to protect and
preserve the world heritage site from the impact of climate
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and his
Bangladesh counterpart Hasun Mahmud on Sunday said steps had
already been initiated in the two countries in this regard.
Speaking at an international workshop `Climate Threat to
Sundarbans Across India and Bangladesh`, where both the
ministers were present, Ramesh said he was optimistic about
the forum being set up by next September.
They two told the workshop that the Sundarbans, which
has the biggest mangrove forest in the world spread over
West Bengal and Bangladesh, was one of the most climatically
vulnerable areas of the world.
"We need to protect and preserve this biosphere reserve
jointly. Setting up the forum is a distinctive possibility
and we deserve it as the forest having 60 per cent of its
territory in Bangladesh and the rest in India is 50 times the
size of the Maldives," Ramesh said.
Ramesh said the forum would enable both governments to
take up joint projects to preserve the mangrove forest and
the tiger population.
"The forum will be the first practical demonstration of
efforts to protect the Sundarbans," he said.