The oilspill in the Sundarbans National Park seems to have been all but ignored by world news services. I heard about it on a blog, SkyTruth, and decided that there must be information out there that would help me to understand the area, the damage, and the responsibility.
There is. There is a lot out there to read! Scientists and other concerned people have been writing about pollution, oil spills and clean-ups for a very long time.
Here is some of what I have been reading as well as some of what I will be reading:
The Sundarbans National Park – A UNESCO Heritage Site
The Sundarbans is an area composed of rivers, some arable land and the largest mangrove forest on earth. It is also home to some of the poorest people on earth. There is no industry here. There are no resource friendly alternatives to illegal fishing and hunting. There are no jobs. This is an area where caste restricts choices.
Abhiroop Chowdhury and Subodh Kumar Maiti. 2014. Mangrove Reforestation through Participation of Vulnerable Population: Engineering a Sustainable Management Solution for Resource Conservation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Development, Vol 4, No 1, pp. 1-8. Link
There is a novel that depicts the Sundarbans as treacherous with humans holding on to a tenuous existence in the presence of an untamed nature. (The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, 2005.) Even the islands that dot the waterways are not constant but change, grow, disappear and reappear with seasons and storms.
Louise Squire. 2014. The Thoughts in our Head: A World. Alluvium, Vol. 3, No. 1. Link
Huma Yaqub. 2014. Tides of Change Breaking against the World of Sundarbans: A Study of Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide. International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities, Vol. II, Issue V, pages 104-113. Link
Ken W. Krauss, Karen L. McKee, Catherine E. Lovelock, Donald R. Cahoon, Neil Saintilan, Ruth Reef, and Luzehn Chen. 2013. How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level. New Phytologist, doi: 10.1111/nph.12605 Link
Daniel M. Alongi. 2008. Mangrove forests: Resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate change. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 76. pages 1-13. Link
Kandasamy Kathiresan and Narayanasamy Rajendran. 2005. Coastal mangrove forests mitigated tsunami. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science Vol. 65, pages 601-606. Link
Daniel M. Alongi. 2002. Present state and future of the world’s mangrove forests. Environmental Conservation, Vol. 29, No. 3, pages 331-349. Link
Ivan Valiela, Jennifer L. Bowen, and Joanna K. York. 2001. Mangrove Forests: One of the World’s Threatened Major Tropical Environments. BioScience, Vol. 51, No. 10, pages 807-815. Link
Chloe Inskip, Zubair Fahad, Rowan Tully, Thomas Roberts, and Douglas MacMillan. 2014. Understanding carnivore killing behaviour: Exploring the motivations for tiger killing in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Biological Conservation, 180, pages 42-50. Link
R. Mani Murali, P.J. Vidya, Poonam Modi, and Seelam Jaya Kumar. 2014. Site selection for offshore wind farms along the Indian coast. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences. Vol. 43(7). Link
B.E. Smith, G. Braulik, S. Strindberg, R. Mansur, M.A.A. Diyan, and B.Ahmed. 2012. Habitat selection of freshwater-dependent cetaceans and the potential effects of declining freshwater flows and sea-level rise in waterways of the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Vol 19, pages 209-225. Link
Ram Boojh. 2014. Ensuring Sustainability of Wetlands in the Global Context, in International Conference on Lakes & Wetlands: Bhopal, India. Link
UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
This Link will take you to a map of all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Just point and click or, search for the Sundarbans. Link
How did we find out about this spill? Satellite images! I would like to find something a little more current but, for now this is interesting….
Mervin F. Fingas and Carl E. Brown. 2000. Review of Oil Spill Remote Sensing. Emergencies Science Division, Environment Canada. Environmental Technology Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Link
What have we learned and what do we do? Whatever it is, we must do it carefully and with thought for the future….
Luis A. Soto, Alfonso V. Botello, Sergio Licea-Duran, Marcial L. Liarraga-Partida, and Alejandro Yanez-Arancibia. 2014. The environmental legacy of the Ixtoc-I oil spill in Campeche Sound, southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 1, Art. 57, pages 1-9. Link
Naomi Klein. 2014. Chapter 13: The Right to Regenerate. In, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate: Canada: Alfred A. Knopf. Pages 419-448. Link
Dagmar Schmidt Etkin. 2000. Worldwide Analysis of Marine Oil Spill Cleanup Cost Factors. Presented at: Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program Technical Seminar. Link
S.R. Pezeshki, M.W. Hester, Q. Lin, and J.A. Nyman. 1999. The effects of oil spill and clean-up on dominant US Gulf coast marsh macrophytes: a review. Environmental Pollution 108, pp. 129-139. Link
Where does the information in these papers come from? Research! Research by the authors of these papers and by researchers and authors before them. A selected bibliography is here (this will be a large file!): Soon….
Added on February 8, 2015.
A collected bibliography, most gathered from the above articles but not all, for you to peruse. Possibly, this bibliography could be called ‘second generation’ as it provided the writers of the above research papers with documented research that they could use and further….
This document is fairly long. There is a lot of good information in there, research and writing by many very qualified science specialists and others….. I began to put links in to the articles in this list but, there are just too many. If you have trouble finding anything on this list just leave a comment below I would be more than happy to take a look and see if I can help.