The Sundarbans—a vast mangrove wetland along the southwestern coast of Bangladesh that’s home to abundant wildlife, including endangered tigers—yields million pounds of fish, shrimp and crab each year. This is healthy, sustainable, affordable food in a country where roughly 69 million people, or 43 percent of the population, survive on less than $1.25 per day. But the governments of India and Bangladesh plan to build a coal-fired power plant on the edge of this World Heritage wetland. They claim it will help address poor Bangladeshis’ ne
Last weekend, over a thousand Bangladeshis and Indians joined together for a four-day march to demand their governments cancel plans for coal-fired power plants that would threaten the Sundarbans, a vast coastal delta of rivers, mud flats and mangrove islands that spans the boundary between their countries. The Sundarbans is home to endangered Royal Bengal tigers and freshwater dolphins, and is the source of daily food for millions of people. The forest also protects 40 million people from deadly cyclones and tidal floods each year.
Tigers and dolphins have coexisted in the Sundarbans mangrove forest for thousands of years.
Located on the coast of Bangladesh and India, and roughly the size of Connecticut, the unique habitat has been recognized as a World Heritage site by the United Nations. It’s a place of exceptional biodiversity that’s home to a number of endangered species.
During a United Nations session on human rights last month, Earthjustice’s U.N. representative applauded Costa Rica for acknowledging the link between its carbon emissions and climate change-induced human rights violations like the ones occurring in Tuvalu.
A longstanding goal of Earthjustice and the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) has been to sound alarms at the United Nations, in national courtrooms and in international fora such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about environmental and human rights violations associated with mines and dams. Indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of such extractive and energy industries in their territories.
Imagine being born today in the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, half way between Hawaii and New Zealand.
You join a community of 12,000 people with a unique culture, language and traditions for sustainable fishing and farming developed over thousands of years. Your country consists of nine small islands covering just 26 square kilometers and averaging only three meters above sea level. Because soils are poor and there is no surface fresh water, your family depends on rain and a thin layer of ground water to grow taro, coconut, bananas and breadfruit.