Implication and management of coastal salinity for sustainable community livelihood: Case study from the Indian Sundarban Delta

Rajarshi DasGupta, Rajib Shaw, Mrittika Basu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Salinity is one of the major drivers of environmental change and a persistent stressor in coastal areas, often resulting from prolonged storm and tidal surge flooding. Especially in the case of the Asian megadeltas, where vast numbers of communities depend on coastal agriculture for their sole livelihood, salinity is compounding as an immediate as well as a potential threat for the future. It is further expected that the adverse impacts of unfavorable soil and inland water salinity will continue to rise with the onset of global sea level rise and subsequent hydrological changes. Under this backdrop, this chapter aims to understand the existing and potential threats of salinity in coastal agriculture and the challenges in sustaining the traditional agro-based livelihood in low-lying coastal areas. Focusing on the agro-rural communities of the lower Gangetic Delta (aka Indian Sundarban Delta), the study aims to understand the impact of salinity in local agricultural productivity, particularly with respect to the devastation caused by prolonged flooding during Cyclone Aila in 2009. Analyzing in detail the critical consequences of the salinity impacts on coastal agriculture, especially in the traditional rice cultivation practices, this chapter advocates for upscaling some of the potential farm level adaptation methods to negate the adverse impacts. In conclusion, the chapter argues the need for the development of an anticipatory agricultural adaptation plan and integration of “adaptation” within the existing scope of the “Integrated Coastal Zone Management” plan.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoastal Management
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Challenges and Innovations
PublisherElsevier
Pages251-269
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128104736
ISBN (Print)9780128104750
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Agricultural adaptation
  • Coastal flooding
  • Cyclone aila
  • Indian sundarban delta
  • Salinity
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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