Protected mangroves face petroleum threat


THE world’s largest surviving mangrove ecosystem – home to the endangered royal Bengal tiger – faces a new threat: petrochemicals. On 3 February, the state government of West Bengal along with an Indian government committee approved plans for a petrochemicals hub on the island of Nayachar. A final national decision about the plant, which will refine crude oil and produce petroleum by-products, is expected within weeks. Environmental groups in India are gearing up for the worst. The island is barely 10 kilometres from the Sunderbans, a biodiversity hotspot containing a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Setting up a petrochemical cluster in that region is tantamount to ecocide,
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