Wed, 18 May 2022 Today's Paper

SL first nation to protect all mangrove forests

15 May 2015 03:14 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests. A scheme backed by the government will include alternative job training, replanting projects and microloans.

Mangroves are considered to be one of the world's most at-risk habitats, with more than half being lost or destroyed in the past century.

Conservationists hope other mangrove-rich nations will follow suit and adopt a similar protection model.

Commenting on the agreement, Sri Lanka President Maithreepala Sirisena said: "It is the responsibility and the necessity of all government institutions, private institutions, non-government organisations, researchers, intelligentsia and civil community to be united to protect the mangrove ecosystem."

The Sri Lankan government is a joint partner overseeing the measures, alongside global NGO Seacology, and Sri Lanka-based Sudeesa, which was formerly known as the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka.

Seacology executive director Duane Silverstein said the pioneering framework had "extreme importance as a model" that could be used throughout the world.

"No nation in history has ever protected all of its mangrove forests and Sri Lanka is going to be the first one to do so," he told BBC News.

"This is through a combination of laws, sustainable alternative incomes and mangrove nurseries.

It is also very significant considering the importance of mangroves as a means of sequestering carbon."

"It is not only that mangroves sequester an order of magnitude more carbon than other types of forest, but it is sequestered for so much longer.

"In the case of mangroves, it is forecast that this lasts millennia," he observed.

Mangroves are evergreen trees that are found in more than 120 tropical and sub-tropical nations.

They are able to grow in seawater, and their strong, stilt-like root systems allow them to thrive in swamps, deltas or coastal areas.

The trees sequester the carbon in the top few metres of soil, which is primarily an anaerobic environment - without oxygen.

As a result, the organisms that usually lead to the decomposition of organic material are not present, meaning the carbon remains locked in the environment for longer.

Because of their surrounding habitat and the lack of readily available fuel, mangrove forests are also not susceptible to forest fires.

But mangroves also offer coastal communities a more direct and immediate form of protection, explained Mr Silverstein.

"After the 2004 (Indian Ocean) tsunami, it became evident - particularly in Sri Lanka which was severely impacted - that those villages that had intact mangroves suffered significantly less damage than those that did not.

A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published 12 months after the devastating tsunami compared two coastal villages in Sri Lanka that were hit by the wall of water.

It showed that two people died in the settlement with dense mangrove and scrub forest, while up to 6,000 people died in the village without similar vegetation.

"Another advantage of a healthy mangrove ecosystem is that the stilted root systems serve as nurseries for many of the fish species that go on to populate coral reefs.

Healthy fish populations, sustained by healthy mangrove forests, have also provided livelihoods and nutrition for millions of small-scale fishermen and their families for generations, allowing coastal communities to sustain themselves.

Anuradha Wickramasinghe, chairman of Sudeesa, said: "People live in these areas because they depend on the mangroves because a lot of the fish they catch come from mangroves.

But he added: "Shrimp farmers have been either legally or illegally cutting down mangroves.

Farmed shrimps, or prawns, account for more than half of the global demand for the crustaceans.

A UN report published in November 2012 warned that the growing demand for prawns meant that valuable mangrove forests were still being felled or were under threat of being felled.

Mr Wickramasinghe told BBC News: "Shrimp farming results in a significant fall in fish catch yields, so fishermen are losing income so it costs them their livelihoods.

"So they know about the importance of mangroves and they are keen to protect them.

Mr Silverstein hoped the Sri Lanka protection model would be adopted by other nations.

"We absolutely believe that Sri Lanka's mangrove model will serve as a model for other nations to follow."

The scheme, which will cost US $3.4m over five years, aims to protect all 8,800 hectares (21,800 acres) of existing mangrove forests by providing alternative job training, funding microloans to people in exchange for protecting local mangroves forests.

It also involves a replanting project, which aims to replace 3,900 hectares of mangroves that had been felled. (BBC)
Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.

  Comments - 6

Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.

  • Cobra Saturday, 16 May 2015 07:28 AM

    And also to protect crooks who have stolen from the country and the people!!!

    Chris Friday, 15 May 2015 03:48 PM

    Only in paper, just have a look at Lunawa lagoon! an area abundant with fish today is the dumping ground for industrial waste.

    sarath Friday, 15 May 2015 07:53 PM

    to see mangroves one must visit Sundraban in Bangladesh. Sundra means beautiful ban means vana forest. It is the world largest mangrove. the trees are identical with SL but all are bigger. Kirala is the main forestation and they call a word some what similar. it takes three nights (four days) to cover the routine tour by boat.

    MilkyWay Friday, 15 May 2015 08:51 AM

    Was Sri Lanka the first to destroy the Mangroves in the 60s to make way for tourist hotels?

    CitizenPerera Friday, 15 May 2015 05:09 PM

    We are everything in being the first, longest and biggest in the world. But the country remains under developed with the BIGGEST CROOKS in every government. If we had protected our mangorve since the early 1970, the Tsunami would not have been devastating as it was because the mangroves act as a natural barrier.

    Lawry Friday, 15 May 2015 05:36 PM

    Machang MilkyWay what is mangrove machang? Is it like Palm Grove?


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Vegetables, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

Sell your vehicle & house fast with hitad.lk only cost is Rs.400, Advertise in Hitad.lk for free to sell your mobile phone. Want to sell your Pet, Advertise for Free in hitad.lk Search for Houses in Sri Lanka and find the best place through Hitad.lk find your best tuition place. Find the best partner for you, visit hitad.lk Find anything at any time hitad.lk.


The Three Universal Truths in Buddhism

Buddhism is a moral and philosophical system, which expounds a unique path of

After night of terror, activists accuse government of smokescreening

On May 9, 2022, several hours before former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

RECOVERY OF STOLEN ASSETS – Part I

The “#gotagohome” campaign that started a few weeks back demanding the Pr

‘GotaGoGama’ rises through ashes after Monday’s nightmare

A half burned down tent standing on plastic pillars, heaps of rubble from the