An area of 10 kilometres within the world’s largest mangrove forest at Sundarban was declared Ecologically critical area by the government in 1999 but many industries have come up in this area over a period of time.
Sundarban is the world’s largest mangrove area spread over 10 thousand square kilometres of which 60 percent falls in Bangladesh and 40 percent in India. This area is known, like the Amazon forests, lungs of Bangladesh. It is the habitat of globally endangered species including Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins and estuarine crocodiles. Mangrove wetlands act as a barrier against cyclones and avoid coastal erosion.
The UNESCO has declared three sanctuaries in the Sundarbans as World Heritage Site in 1997.