The United Nations has recognized the Sundarbans in Bangladesh — the world’s largest mangrove forest and safe haven for endangered species like the Bengal tiger — as a World Heritage site: a special place with universal value.1 Yet UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has stood silent in the face of two proposed coal plants that threaten this precious ecosystem, its animal inhabitants, and the humans that rely on it.2
The World Heritage Committee’s annual meeting starts on July 10th. Unlike the Committee, we won’t be standing silent while the main river through the Sundarbans is dredged to make way for coal barges. We will be demanding that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee formally list the Sundarbans as a site in danger.
Instead of allowing two highly destructive coal-fired power plants, UNESCO must protect this precious site. UNESCO can urge Bangladesh and India to cancel the proposed coal-fired power plants and commit to clean, renewable energy and sustainable development in and around the Sundarbans. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee must declare that the Sundarbans are in danger from coal.
And the Sundarbans certainly are in danger. The smokestacks of the coal plants would deposit mercury, acid gases and other toxic emissions in the World Heritage site, harming surrounding communities, mangrove forests, and all that depends on them, including the endangered Bengal tiger.
Join us and partners around the world to stand up to corporate greed and stop these destructive projects.
1. “The Sundarbans” UNESCO: World Heritage Center, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/798
2. Anu Muhammad & Sheikh Muhammad Shaheedullah, “Manipulating Rampal,” Dhaka Tribune, March 31, 2016,