State of art report on biodiversity in Indian Sundarbans

To ensure conservation of the rich biodiversity of the Sundarbans forest along with enhancing the socioeconomic profile of the region, the Government of India (GoI), and the government of West Bengal (GoWB) requested World Bank support to design a comprehensive programme that responds to the development challenges of the Sundarbans region through non-lending technical assistance (NLTA). The NLTA supported the preparation of various studies that would enable the governments to develop strategic action plans that integrate clearly defined and prioritized interventions to address (a) protection of life, property, and assets; (b) income growth and poverty reduction; and (c) biodiversity conservation.

As part of the NLTA Biodiversity Study, WWF-India was assigned the task of preparing a state-of–the art report on biodiversity in the Indian Sundarbans. This compendium is the outcome of that task and serves as a first-of-its-kind detailed baseline of biodiversity of the Indian Sundarbans and provides a critical evaluation of the current state of biodiversity in the area. The compendium encompasses eighteen sub-chapters on biodiversity groups that range from microbes to fish to insects and birds to mega-fauna. Each is written by an internationally recognized expert on the topic and each details (a) the status of the group within the Sundarbans; (b) how that status compares to the group's status within the world at large; (c) the threats faced by that group within the Sundarbans; and (d) knowledge gaps that could be filled and policy options that could be implemented to protect the group.