70 Civil Society Organisations Call On UNESCO to Protect Sundarbans From Proposed Coal-fired Power Plant


20 April, 2017

Chiang Mai, Thailand

As the people from the Sunderbans coastal belt and the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports hold a grand rally in Khulna, Bangladesh, 70 civil society organisations call on UNESCO World Heritage Committee to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, and to cancel the proposed construction of the Rampal coal power-plant project in Bangladesh.

The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Ramsar-listed wetland. According to the civil society organisations, the Rampal coal power-plant project not only threatens the rich biodiversity of the Sundarbans, which also plays a key role in mitigating the impacts of climate change, but also the livelihoods of millions of people and the climate.

“We call on UNESCO to protect the Sundarbans and to inscribe this unique ecosystem on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. UNESCO has already recommended the immediate cancellation of Rampal and now it needs to do its utmost to conserve this extremely ecologically valuable zone,” said Amanda Tas from Protect the Forest.

Previously, the civil society organisations also sent appeal letters to the Presidents, Prime Ministers and several Ministers of Bangladesh and India to immediately take whatever steps necessary to halt the coal-fired power plant project in the Sundarbans and to increase investments in renewable solar and wind power.

Read the letter sent to UNESCO World Heritage Committee here



Amanda Tas

Protect the Forest, Sweden

Email: amanda.tas@skyddaskogen.se

Mobile: +46 (0)73-5860099


Camille Risler

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Thailand

Email: camille@apwld.org

Phone: +66 99 504 8764


Wally Menne  

Timberwatch Coalition, South Africa

Email: plantnet@iafrica.com

Mobile: +27 (0) 82 4442083


Press contact

Neha Gupta

APWLD, India

Email: neha@apwld.org

Phone: +91-9810 078 055


The open letter is supported by the following NGOs:

Abibiman Foundation, Ghana

AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women, Philippines

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Asia Pacific

BankTrack, International

Biofuelwatch, UK/USA

Botswana Climate Change Network

Botswana Friends of the Earth , Bosnia and Herzegovina

CHAUKATH voluntary network of feminists, Nepal

Climate Action Network, International Climate Litigation Network, Transnational Conservatree, USA

Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC), Philippines

Cultures of Resistance Network Foundation EcoNexus, UK Ecoropa, Germany

Feminist League, Kazakhstan

Forum Environment and Development, Germany

Forum for Nature Protection NGO, Nepal

Foundation for GAIA, International

Fragile Planet Earth, South Africa

Friends of the Earth US, USA

Friends of the Siberian Forests, Russia

Friends of the Tamar Valley, UK

Nature and Youth, Sweden

GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice e.V., International

Genethics Foundation, Netherlands

Global Environment Centre, Malaysia

Global Forest Coalition, International

Green IT., Uruguay

Greenpeace Russia

Grupo Para o Desenvolvimento da Mulher e Rapariga, Mozambique

IBON International


Governments for Sustainability – Africa, South Africa

Institute for Planetary Synthesis, Switzerland

Janabhivyakti, India

Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund, Japan

Japan Tropical Forest Action Network (JATAN), Japan

Friends of the Earth, Sweden

Klimataktion Stockholm, Sweden

Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, Korea

Michael Underwood Agroforestry Associates Africa, South Africa

Mom Loves Taiwan Association, Taiwan

National Indigenous Women Forum, Nepal

NCA-Afghanistan, Afghanistan

New Wind Association, Finland

Next Big Thing Movement, Inc, USA

Oil Change International Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), USA

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), Malaysia

Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE), Canada

Protect the Forest, Sweden

PUSH Sweden

Quercus- National Association for Nature Conservation, Portugal

Rainbow Eco-Farm and Training Center NPO, South Africa

Re-nourish, USA

Rettet den Regenwald, Germany

Rewild, South Africa

Rutale Development Association, Africa

Students for a Just and Stable Future, USA

SustainUS, USA

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Sweden

Tanzania Youth Coalition, Tanzania

TFINS, India

Thanal, India

The Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

Timberwatch Coalition, South Africa

WECF Women Engage for a Common Future, International

Wildlife Impact, USA

Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO), International

World Heritage International, Netherlands

YouthNet for Climate Justice, Bangladesh