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Sri Lanka wins UN Award for in Mangrove Restoration

29 February 2024 11:17 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka has been recognized as a 2024 UN World Restoration Flagship for its exemplary work in rebuilding and rejuvenating its mangrove ecosystems.

Anil Jasinghe, CEO of Sri Lanka's Climate Change Office, and Professor Sevvandi Jayakody, a senior lecturer at Wayamba University, accepted the award in Nairobi, Kenya at the UN Environment Assembly on Tuesday, February 27

They were joined by Ruwan Wijewardena, a senior presidential advisor on climate change, and High Commissioner Veluppillai Kananathan.

The sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) is taking place from 26 February to 1 March 2024 at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 

UNEA-6 was preceded by a meeting of the Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives, held from 19 to 23 February 2024, which helped lay the groundwork for the Assembly. 

This recognition underscores Sri Lanka's leadership in addressing environmental challenges and serves as an inspiration for other countries to prioritize ecosystem restoration efforts. The prestigious award underscores Sri Lanka's adept application of the UN’s Principles for Ecosystem Restoration, spotlighting globally impactful best practices that could potentially pave the way for future successes worldwide.

The devastating aftermath of the 2004 tsunami shed light on the pivotal role mangroves play as coastal protectors. Despite this realization, ongoing mangrove destruction and the lack of a formal conservation mechanism hindered progress. 

Sri Lanka's commitment to fortify its coastal ecosystems, dating back to 2015, resulted in the establishment of expert panels, task forces, policies, action plans, and restoration guidelines, forming comprehensive coalitions for effective action and conservation.

Spearheaded by a revolutionary, science-driven methodology, Sri Lanka's approach to mangrove restoration focuses on restoring ecosystem services, striving to reestablish equilibrium across the entire ecosystem and enhance connectivity. 

The engagement of youth as researchers and future restoration leaders, along with collaboration across diverse stakeholder groups – including the Government, NGOs, private sector, academia, and the community – has given rise to a forward-looking restoration paradigm.

The UN Flagship Restoration Award is a timely acknowledgment of Sri Lanka's sustainable solutions for restoring these crucial ecosystems, which play a vital role in supporting countless lives and livelihoods across the island.


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  Comments - 1

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  • BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 29 February 2024 11:56 AM

    But UN does not have an award for counties that have cultivation of corruption, why? It will surely put mangrove cultivation of Sri Lanka in the shade.


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