Climate Change in Bangladesh: Life and Death in the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans forest in southern Bangladesh is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It has green Sundari trees, rivers, numerous species of birds, deer, crocodiles, snakes, and most famously, the Royal Bengal tiger. Spread across 9,583sq km in the Ganges delta, the Sundarbans is home to 440 tigers, and about 50 to 60 thousand people depend on land, rivers and forest for their living. As climate changes, hurricanes and cyclones continue to affect the area, the fresh water that once irrigated farmers’ fields has turned salty, rendering the fields useless. A growing number of farmers in Bangladesh's southern Sundarbans region have now been driven out of their fields and into the region's mangrove forests to hunt for honey, fish, or to collect crabs, putting them at great risk for a tiger attack. The number of people killed by tiger attacks in the region is steadily rising. According to forestry officials and the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, there were seven deaths in 2007; thirty in 2008; thirty-four in 2009, and twenty-six as of July 2010.
Humans and tigers are now fighting for space.