The Bay of Bengal and humans are inextricably interconnected
A. The Bay of Bengal affects many human lives. It is considered as a highly productive ecosystem (Class 1) largely due to nutrient inputs from rivers. It supports millions of people by providing their subsistence and livelihoods.
B. The total population of the Bay of Bengal countries is around 2,000 million which makes it home to about one-quarter of the world’s population. This region is also home to one of the largest concentrations of economically-disadvantaged communities with wages less than 2 USD per day.
C. The Bay of Bengal is affected directly by the decisions and actions of people of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand.
D. Local and national laws, regulations and resource management affect what is put into and taken out of the Bay of Bengal. Shoreline development and industrial or commercial activities lead to point and non-point source pollution. Humans have altered the biology of the bay and the viability of species through harvesting, species introduction, and nutrient loading.
E. Coastal regions along the Bay of Bengal are impacted by land use decisions and natural hazards. Physical modifications (changes to beaches, shores, and rivers) can exacerbate the effects of erosion, storm surges, and sea level changes.
F. Individual and collective actions are needed to effectively conserve and manage the Bay of Bengal’s resources for the benefit of all.
Version: January 2019