Chandpai 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 – Munshigonj, Dacope-Koyra, Chandpai and Sarankhola, as well as the Ecologically Critical Area that surrounds the forest as a buffer. Chandpai range covers 97,444 hectares. Within Chandpai range are Dhangmari and Chandpai Wildlife Sanctuaries designated in 2012 to protect dolphins in 28 km of waterways.
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 sanctuaries of this range protect important populations of threatened Ganges River and Irrawaddy Dolphins, and many other mangrove dependent species, including the world’s largest population of an unusual waterbird – the Masked Finfoot.
Chandpai range is bordered to the north by 34 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 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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The many waterways of the Sundarbans are home to an important population of this endangered dolphin. It can be distinguished by its long beak when it comes to the water surface to breath, and hunts fish in the murky water using echolocation. The rivers of Bangladesh are one of the main remaining homes to this species. Three sanctuaries have been established within the Sundarbans especially toprotect dolphins from hunting and fishing.
Sustaining Nature, Biodiversity, and Local Communities
Chandpai Co-Management Committee engages with local communities to conserve the eastern part of Sundarban and adjacent area, and their threatened species, including Ganges River Dolphin, through climate-resilient natural resources management and diversified livelihoods
Co-Management in Chandpai was established in February 2010 and is recognized through a Ministry of Environment and Forests order published in November 2009. Chandpai 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 adjucent 34 villages who are organized into a common forum. We help protect the Sundarbans under an integrated resource management plan, and promote sustainable practices in over 11,700 ha of the Sundarbans Ecologically Critical Area in coordination with Department of Environment.
CHANDPAI 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 Chandpai 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.
Chandpai CMC has a bank account, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Mongla port Branch and can receive grants from domestic sources. For international assistance, funds can be channeled through CODEC – a national NGO which has helped establish the CMC. CODEC is registered with Bangladesh NGO Affairs Bureau, registration no. 263. Its programs focus on the disadvantaged coastal and fisher communities for their social, cultural and economic development.
Your donations to Chandpai 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)
Joymoni, Mongla, Bagerhat
Tel: 01712 065 018
DFO, Sundarban East Forest Division
Tel: 0468 63197
Joymoni, Mongla, Bagerhat
Tel: 01712 984 500
Khurshid Alam Ph.D
CODEC Bhaban, Plot#2, Road#2, Lake Valley R/A, Hazi Zafor Ali Road (Nuria
Madrasha Lane), Foy’s Lake, Khulshi, Chittagong, Bangladesh