State forest department is on the verge of completing the Ramsar information sheet on the Sunderbans Reserve Forest in India, a critical step towards being listed as a wetland of international importance.
If the proposal is accepted and Indian Sunderbans declared a Ramsar site, it will be the third prestigious citation for the mangrove delta. In 1987, UNESCO declared the Sunderbans National Park a World Heritage site and in 2001, the entire Indian Sunderbans has declared a Global Biosphere Reserve.
The world’s largest contiguous mangrove ecosystem stretches over 10,200 sq km across India and Bangladesh. Of this, 4,263 sq km of reserve forest is in India and 5,937 sq km in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh section of the Sunderbans is already listed on the Ramsar site and is a World Heritage site. The Bangladeshi government recently provided an updated Ramsar information sheet on its Sunderbans Ramsar site, enlarging its area from 596,000 hectares to 601,700 hectares.