A+ A A-

Government of West Bengal
Directorate of Forests

Wildlife Wing

Sundarban Biosphere Reserve

Creation of Sundarban Biosphere in 1989 ushered in a new era of conservation of bio-diversity in the inter-tidal zone of Sundarbans. This Reserve comprises an area of 9630km bounded by the 'Dampier-Hodges Line on the North Bay of Bengal on the South, Ichhamati-Kalindi-Raimongal on the East of the River Hooghly on the West. Including 4264 km of mangrove forests, which account for more than 60% of India's total mangrove forests. The balance area of the Biosphere Reserve (5367 km) comprises lands outside the forests, but within the Intertidal zone. Population of over 2.5 million is spread over 1060 villages and 3 towns (Taki, Joynagar and Canning) under 6 blocks of N. 24 Pgns. Dist and 13 blocks of S. 24 Pgns Dist, 44% of whom belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as against 25.61% in the state. About 85% of the populations as against 57% of the state are agricultural workers and about 50% of the cultivators is landless. The inaccessibility is a serious constraint forded the region.

The broad objectives of the programme of the Biosphere Reserve are:

i) Identification and demarcation of the unique eco-system and its role for international network in global eco-system and its role for international network in global eco-system conservation.
ii) Ecologically compatable economic development (Eco-development) of the intertidal zone.
iii) Research, training monitoring etc. The development of fishery, particularly prawn-culture, apiary, oyester-culure, mushroom-culture, pearl-culture, apart from providing basic needs of life, i.e. improvement of communication through water, removing illiteracy, providing drinking water have been aimed at. Apart form this, massive afforestation programme was included both inside and outside the forest.

Important on going schemes are:

A. 100% Centrally Sponsored Schemes:

i) Establishment of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve.
ii) Conservation and Management of Sundarban mangroves.
iii) Intergrated Afforestation and Eco-Development Project.

B. Area Oriented Fuelwood and Fodder Programme (50% Centrally Sponsored Scheme) Establishment of Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve Performance during 1998-99.

Item of Works Physical Expenditure (Rs in lakhs) Remarks
Creation of 1998 Plantation 58 ha (Part) 3.30 Management Action Plan for 1998-99
Advance work for 1999 Plantation 255 ha 8.70 "
Fuel wood & Fodder spp. Adv. Work 30 ha 0.82 "
Soil Conservation 134 km. 4.00 "
Demonstration Project 1.55 "
Social Welfare activities 6.00 "
Education, Training & awareness 0.60 "
Total 24.97
Afforestation 90 ha 1.81 Spillover of 1997-98
Addl. Income Generation Scheme 217 nos. 2.23 "
Horticulture activities 20,000 nos 2.30 "
Apiary Education Training 0.05 Spillover of 1996-97
Printing of leaflets, posters etc. 1.00 "
Development of Data Base 0.55 Spillover of 1995-96
Educational Training & Awareness 1.00 "
Total 8.94
Grand Total 33.91
Year Amount Spent (Rs. in lakhs)
1999-2000 33.80
1998-99 33.91
1997-98 18.99
1996-97 27.69
1995-96 -
1994-95 95.49
1993-94 22.96
1992-93 25.88
1991-92 24.53
1990-91 32.00
1989-90 -
Item of Works Physical Expenditure (Rs. in lakhs) Remarks
Creation of 1998 plantations advance work for '99 400 ha 31.79 Management Action Plan for 1998-99
Mangrove plantation 500 ha (part) 7.54 "

Eco-restoration/afforestation

a) Afforestation of intertidal blanks Including creation '97 plantation

b) Advance work for '98 Mangrove plantations

200ha (part)

400 ha

6.06

10.00

Spillover of 1997-98 "
Creation of Mangrove plantation 300 ha (part) 5.26 "
Establishment of GIS system 24.00 "
Documentation and preparation of status report - 0.70 Spillover of 1995-96
Total 85.35
Year Amount Spent
(Rs. in lakhs)
1998-99 43.93
1997-98 21.60
1996-97 19.65
1995-96 -
1994-95 59.68
1993-94 34.33
1992-93 50.23
1991-92 64.52
1990-91 33.24
1989-90 27.04