Sinking Sundarbans

Photo essay | March 4, 2010

At the mouth of the Ganges River lies the Sundarbans - 20,000 square kilometres of Unesco protected Mangrove forest stretching between India and Bangladesh. It is home to 500 endangered Bengali tigers, countless crocodiles and around 4.3 million people. A combination of subsidence and sea level rise means these fragile islands are disappearing quickly. In last 20 years four islands have been submerged leaving 6,000 families displaced. It is estimated that 30,000 people will lose their homes by 2020 as 15 percent of the Sundarbans habitable land will be gone.

In addition, more intense tropical storms, with storm surges and high tides are making the problems worse for the people of the Sundarbans. This is their story.

Photographs by Peter Caton. Interviews Cristiane Aoki.

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