Every year, the Sundarbans contributes over Tk5,000 crore to Bangladesh.
This is not surprising considering its unique ecosystem and biodiversity, which allows it to be one of Bangladesh’s most valuable resources.
The forest not only attracts thousands of tourists every year, but shields the country against natural calamities, and provides livelihoods worth Tk1,161cr to local communities.
As such, it is imperative that the government utilises the Sundarbans to its full potential.
However, due to poor management, the Sundarbans have been unable to reach this potential, losing thousands of crores in potential revenue in the process.
What the government needs to do now is to come up with a comprehensive ecotourism management plan, which would attract more tourists, and ensure that we get the most out of them when they visit.
Additionally, there are multiple areas within the Sundarbans which remain in deteriorated conditions, and authorities should prioritise the need for rehabilitating these places back into shape.
With over 3.5 million people dependent on the Sundarbans, and considering how rich the area is in terms of its diverse ecosystem, we should feel compelled to protect its many riches, and allow it to nourish Bangladesh with its bounty.
This would include making sure that the host of illegal activity that goes on in the area is also eliminated, so that it is not exploited and destroyed.
By taking care of the Sundarbans, we are not only taking care of the country and its resources, but also its people.