Satkhira Range of Sundarbans and associated areas
The Sundarbans Reserved Forest covers in total 600,386 ha – the world’s largest mangrove forest – and extends across three districts and four administrative ranges of the Forest Department. From west to east four CMCs work to protect the Sundarbans – Satkhira/ Munshigonj, Dacope-Koyra, Chandpai and Sarankhola, as well as the Ecologically Critical Area that surrounds the forest as a buffer. Satkhira range covers 186,731 ha. Within Satkhira range is Sundarban West Wildlife Sanctuary designated in 1996 it protects 71,502 ha of mangrove forest and creeks.
This forest is adapted to brackish tidal waters and forms a natural barrier between the Bay of Bengal and mainland Bangladesh. The forest traps sediment, naturally building land and helps protect coastal people from high tides, storms and cyclones. However, storms and climate change pose threats to the forest, and increasing intrusion of
saline water north of the mangroves during the dry season hampers agriculture and access to fresh water for our communities. Illegal felling of trees and poaching of Tiger and Spotted Deer are significant challenges. In addition to being home to one of the world’s largest populations of Tigers, the sanctuary of this range protects important populations of Spotted Deer (also known as Chital or Horin), otters, Estuarine Crocodile and the Asiatic (Indian) Rock Python.
Satkhira range is bordered on the west by India, and to the north by 76 villages where most of the people depend directly on the mangrove ecosystem. Collection of shrimp larvae, fish and golpata (Nipa fruticans) palm leaves are the main income sources. However, destructive practices used in catching prawn and shrimp post larvae and excess pressure catching finfish and crabs threaten the ecology of the area and sustainability of livelihoods.
WHY ARE SUNDARBANS MANGROVE FORESTS IMPORTANT?
A Ramsar and World Heritage site
The largest block of mangrove forest in the world
Home to globally endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges River Dolphin and Masked Finfoot
High species diversity: 120 fish species, 8 amphibian species, 50 reptile species, 42 mammals, over 250 bird species, and 60 shrimp species
Stores over 250 tons of carbon (equivalent to 939 tons CO2 per hectares)
Local people are poor and depend on forest resources, threatening the biodiversity and ecology
CO-MANAGEMENT HELPS PROTECT CRITICAL MANGROVE FOREST HABITATS IMPORTANT FOR A WIDE RANGE OF CREATURES AND PLANTS, INCLUDING GLOBALLY THREATENED SPECIES …
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The largest cat and our national animal, the magnificent Bengal Tiger has disappeared from the rest of Bangladesh and is globally endangered. The Sundarbans are home to one of the largest remaining populations. A solitary predator that readily swims, and is an expert at remaining hidden, it hunts mainly Spotted Deer and Wild Boar. The Forest Department and communities are working together to protect tigers and their habitat
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Herds of this distinctive deer with its body covered in white spots can be seen grazing in the mornings and late afternoons in grassy clearings. Males develop long antlers during the first half of the year in the breeding season. Although widespread in South Asia in deciduous forest mixed with grassland, in Bangladesh it is only found in mangroves especially the Sundarbans where it is an important prey item for tigers.
Sustaining Nature, Biodiversity, and Local Communities
Satkhira Co-Management Committee engages with local communities to conserve the western part of Sundarban and adjacent area, and its threatened species, through climate-resilient natural resources management and diversified livelihoods
Co-Management in Satkhira range was established through Satkhira (or Munshigonj) CMC in August 2011 and is recognized through a Ministry of Environment and Forests order published in November 2009. Satkhira CMC formally works with and includes Bangladesh Forest Department as well as all key local stakeholders including local government and of course representatives of the surrounding 78 villages who are organized into a common forum. Satkhira CMC help protect the Sundarbans under an integrated resource management plan, and promote sustainable practices in over 16,300 ha of the Sundarbans Ecologically Critical Area in coordination with Department of Environment. Satkhira CMC is
working with others to promote sustainable fisheries and conserve Tigers and other threatened species.
SATKHIRA CO-MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (CMC)
- Conservation of biodiversity in Sundarban forests and its Ecologically Critical Area
- Mobilize local people including youth as environmental stewards and stakeholders
- Assist natural resource users to enhance and diversify their livelihoods, reduce extraction from forests, and reduce vulnerability to hazards and climate change
- Encourage eco-tourism, and provide adequate facilities for visitors
- Provide a forum for discussions,consultations, and conflict resolution
How You Can Help ?
Please support our efforts to strengthen conservation. The work of Satkhira CMC and associated organizations involves local communities working with local government and Bangladesh Forest Department. These activities depend on support from grants and outside resources.
Satkhira CMC has a bank account (Agrani Bank Limited, Sundarban Branch, Satkhira)
and can receive grants from domestic sources. For international assistance, funds can be channeled through CNRS – a national NGO which has helped establish the CMC. CNRS is registered with Bangladesh NGO Affairs Bureau, Bangladesh no 841. Its programs focus on Natural Resource Management.
Your donations to Satkhira CMC will support:
- Improving protection of forest, and their threatened species, through community patrols and forest restoration
- Creating awareness among the local people and increasing alternative income source.
- Reducing conflicts between people and animals, especially Tiger (e.g., relocating cultivation, patrols, education,, improving warnings, and a compensation fund)
- Promoting eco-tourism (e.g. establishing and maintaining visitor facilities and publicizing the Sundarbans)
- Increasing community sustainability (e.g. reducing disaster vulnerability and improving services)
Burigoalini, Samnagar, Satkhira
Tel: 01712 146 325
DFO, Sundarban West Forest Division
Tel: 041 720665
Burigoalini, Samnagar, Satkhira
Tel: 01718 029 589
M. Mokhlesur Rahman
Floor 4-6, House 13, Road 17, Block D, Banani, Dhaka 1213
Tel: 01711 549 460;