Help Stop Crucial Tiger Habitat from being Turned into a Coal Plant

Plans are underway to build a coal-fired plant inside the Sundarbans mangrove forest, home to tigers like this cub. Tiger Cub | Sunderban Tiger Reserve by Arindam Bhattacharya. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Plans are underway to build a coal-fired plant inside the Sundarbans mangrove forest, home to tigers like this cub. Tiger Cub | Sunderban Tiger Reserve by Arindam Bhattacharya. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There is a new threat that could inflict serious damage to the Sundarbans: a UNESCO world heritage site and the largest mangrove forest in the world (UNESCO, 2016). The Bangladeshi company The Orion Group wants to build a coal-fired plant inside this irreplaceable ecosystem.

Such an act would have far-reaching consequences. First of all, 106 Royal Bengal Tigers currently reside within the Bangladesh Sundarbans (Inskip, Carter, Riley, Roberts, & MacMillan, 2016). The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the most threatened of all big cats (Hunter, 2015), numbering only 3,890 wild individuals and occupying just 4% of their historic range (Howard, 2016; Panthera, 2015c). Damaging the Sundarbans, one of their last strongholds, is the last thing the species needs.

Just as importantly, 1.7 million people live directly outside the Sundarbans. Extreme poverty forces most of them to rely almost entirely on forest resources for their survival (Inskip et al., 2013). Damaging the Sundarbans by building a coal-fired plant would seriously threaten their way of life. Bangladesh and India are also the countries most at risk from global climate change (Braun, 2010). Since coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, this is the worst place to put a coal-fired plant.

But we can help protect the people and tigers who rely on the Bangladesh Sundarbans. The Rainforest Action Network and CREDO Action have started a petition urging the U.S. Export-Import Bank to refuse to fund the project. The Orion Group has approached this U.S. government agency for financing, and we have to make sure they never get it.

Click here to sign the petition and tell the U.S. Export-Import Bank to not fund the destruction of the Bangladesh Sundarbans

Further Reading:

Braun, D. M. (2010, October 20). Bangladesh, India Most Threatened by Climate Change, Risk Study Finds. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2010/10/20/bangladesh_india_at_risk_from_climate_change/.

The Rainforest Action Network’s statement on the project

The Sundarbans – UNESCO World Heritage Center

 

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21 thoughts on “Help Stop Crucial Tiger Habitat from being Turned into a Coal Plant

    1. I’m not sure if it entails any protection, as this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone wanting to destroy a World Heritage site. It seems like there’s always a way around the law when money is involved though, which is why we need to try to stop the U.S. Export-Import Bank from funding the project.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Though I couldn’t remember where I first heard the information (which is why I left it out of the post), I know I’ve heard that the Sundarbans is also Bangladesh’s best defense against rising sea levels and storms associated with climate change. So damaging it in any way seems ludicrous.

      Liked by 2 people

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