UNESCO expresses its deep concern over cyclone 'Amphan', which recently hit Bangladesh and eastern India, and wishes to express its deepest sympathy for the loss of human life and the material damage caused by this disaster, in solidarity with the people affected.
On 20 May 2020, cyclone Amphan made landfall across the West Bengal-Bangladesh coast, which includes two World Heritage properties: “Sundarbans National Park” (India) and “The Sundarbans” (Bangladesh), inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987 and 1997 respectively. This transnational mangrove ecosystem is known for being the world's largest remaining habitats for the Bengal Tiger and other threatened, flagship species such as Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins.
Emergency impact assessments have been conducted by the respective authorities to assess the magnitude of the damage caused, and a report from concerned authorities in Bangladesh indicates that there has been no major impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the Sundarbans, while significant damage was caused to infrastructure and facilities associated with the property. The national authorities in India are currently assessing the impact of the cyclone on the Sundarbans National Park.
The World Heritage Centre stands ready to discuss with the authorities any assistance that may be required to support the World Heritage properties and the surrounding communities affected by this disaster, and calls upon the international community to help support the Bangladeshi and Indian authorities in their recovery efforts.