Yesterday I heard the fantastic news that the UN have sent 15 international experts to Bangladesh, some are experts in cleaning oil spills from different habitats and the rest are experts in cleaning oil covered wildlife. This is a brilliant start, but we need international pressure to make sure that this leads to teams of people supervising the clean up project.
What can you do to help?
- Put pressure on international media to report on this catastrophe;
- Publicize what is happening in the Sundarbans on social media;
- Put pressure on bird/animal conservation organisations to help;
- Give and help raise money;
- Put pressure on organisations/companies/governments with expertise to help;
- Offer your help through the International Save Sundarbans Facebook Group.
A young conservationist's view
An Urgent Appeal
|Child cleaning oil spill, Sundarbans, Bangladesh|
|Oil on mangrove, oil spill, Sundarbans, Bangladesh|
Interview with a Sundarbans Specialist
- The furnice oil that has collected on the canals has to be removed. But to achieve this we should not depend on the spontaneity of the people, rather employ the various governmental agencies and members of the armed forces in an organized way. And to extract the oil, sponges and other oil absorbent material and instruments should be used in addition to using hands.
- Before deciding to use chemical sprays to remove the floating layer of oil, we need to consider many things. One cannot afford to lose time reaching this decision, while the work of extracting oil using sponges and other absorbent material and vacuum machinery by the governmental agencies and members of the armed forces must begin as soon as possible.
- Steps must be taken to extract the oil from the layer of mud that is regularly flooded by the tides, if necessary 4-5 cm of soil must be extracted to achieve this.
- The oil that has collected at the base of the trees must be removed.
- If bare hands alone are used, the scale of danger that is facing the Sundarbans will not become apparent right away, as we have seen from incidents of oil spills in mangrove forests in other countries in the past, it takes several weeks or even years for the effects of the pollution to become fully manifest. It may take a mangrove forest several decades or even half a century before it recovers. The future of the Sundarbans in the near future depends on the number of trees and animals that have fallen victims to the oil pollution, and also on how much of it has been affected fully or partially.
- Lastly, what remedial steps are being taken? The only way to keep the Sundarbans oil free in the future is to make sure that the passage of ships through the forest is banned and to stop development projects such as the two coal based power plants, NTPC and Orion Coal Power Plants, planned close the Sundarbans, This can only be achieved by building strong public pressure on the government.
The Present Position
|Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig|
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig