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5 September 2011, Rediff

Saving the Sundarbans

On September 6, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Bangladesh for a highly anticipated round of talks. This is the moment for both sides to look afresh at the Sundarbans and make it the creative spur for our bilateral prosperity, says Shloka Nath.

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Sitting on the sensitive border between India and Bangladesh is the Sundarbans, one of the most wondrous and also most endangered eco-systems in the world. It is a precious mangrove forest of 10,000 square km, sixty percent of which is in Bangladesh and the rest in India.

The region is a diplomatic thorn between the two countries: Its environmental troubles are caused by neglect and climate change, resulting in the creation of refugees due to loss of livelihood and water-sharing problems. The Sundarbans’ issues can advance the relationship between the two neighbors — or send them into retreat.


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