Geography - Coasts - The Sundarbans

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  • The Sundarbans - Bangladesh
  • Sediment deposited by three of the world's largest rivers; The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
    • Coastal processes
      • World's largest delta, extending over 10,000km2 of southern Bangladesh and India
      • Tidal action is the primary natural process.
      • Non-cohesive sediments like sand are washed out of the delta. Protection from the sand dunes, finer silts washed into the bay are deposited.
      • Vegetation establishes itself.
      • Equilibrium of the natural processes - very delicate.
      • Wave action adds and shapes further deposits of sand to form islands.
      • Well-developed network of inter-connecting river channels
  • Challenges and opportunities
    • Provide protection, maintenance, provision.
    • Managed sustainably, it provides a wide range of goods and services.
    • Mangrove forests are extremely important ecosystem.
    • Over-exploitation of coastal resources / Destructive fishing.
    • Many on the outside view it as uninhabitable.
    • Coastal flooding / High levels of salinity in soils.
    • Coastal erosion has not traditionally  been a problem. But there are some problems.
  • Human response to challenges
    • Many populations have lived successfully.
    • Significant protection and shelter against - storm, tsunamis, coastal erosion.
    • One hectare of mangrove forest.
    • Density of 30 trees per 0.01 hectares can reduce the force of tsunami by 90%.
    • Forests have economic values.
    • More resilient to disaster.
  • Recent human pressures like deforestation could utilize a number of open access natural resources.
    • Mitigation
      • Good level of social capital.
      • Threat of natural disasters means there has been a significant investment in infrastructure.
      • Level of resilience provided by these livelihood assets may be decreasing as poverty increases.
      • Assets - financial, human, social, natural and physical.


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