More than 50 % of the Sri Lanka Mangrove forests have been destroyed irrecoverably in the past 30 years through deforestation, abuse and exploitation – with negative impacts on fishery and the protection against catastrophic flooding events.
Mangroves are among the most valuable coastal ecosystems. They provide habitats for species of marine fauna and flora, especially breeding and nesting grounds for fish, along with food and livelihoods for local communities. Very importantly, they can provide protection from the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rises and coastal erosion caused by storm surges and extreme weather events. Because of their importance, several community-based mangrove restoration projects have been implemented in Sri Lanka aimed at protecting and rehabilitating this all important ecosystem.