Mangrove Restoration Activities of Nagenahiru

Nagenahiru Foundation in Sri Lanka initiated its Mangrove restoration program in the year 2005 just after the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.

During the last two decades, Nagenahiru was able to successfully continue and expand its Community-based Mangrove rehabilitation activities in several coastal wetlands including the Maduganga Ramsar wetland system, Madampa Lake system, and Lunama wetland system deep south of the island and Kalpitiya coastal lagoon in northwestern coast in Sri Lanka.

All activities of Nagenahiru Mangrove Restoration programs were implanted with strong community participation ensuring the long-term sustainability of the restored mangrove areas.


The main objective of the Mangrove Restoration program of Nagenahiru is to facilitate the sustainable community management of the Mangrove Ecosystems in these lakes and wetland systems.

All the above wetland systems are extensive lake systems facing several threats due to uncontrolled community activities such as land reclamation, dumping of household and industrial waste, and the logging of mangrove trees for timber and firewood.

The project also aims to increase the communities’ understanding of the importance of the mangrove ecosystem
through long-term educational programs and empowering communities in implementing mangrove conservation programs.

The Project Aims to:

In achieving the task of rehabilitation of Mangroves in Sri Lanka Nagenhiru was able to further develop its Mangrove Educational Garden established in 2006 as “Mangrove Field Laboratory” with facilities to conduct local and international interest groups to conduct several research and experimental activities to enhance their knowledge on Mangrove Ecology. During the past two years, Nagenahiru realized that this Mangrove Field Laboratory is very popular among both young people from Sri Lanka as well as among overseas groups interested in Young environmentalists.

This outdoor classroom room is very helpful in conducting educational workshops on Mangrove Ecology and transfer restoration practices among visitors to the Field laboratory.

This facility further promotes awareness and educational workshops to increase understanding of the importance of and necessity of preservation of rare endangered mangrove plants and restoration Reforest 6 acres of destroyed mangrove areas in the Madampa Wetland, planting over 30,000 new seedlings.

Community Contribution

The project also seeks the commitment of wetland communities towards the protection and development of sustainable mangrove forests. The project commenced activities in February 2005 just after the Indian Ocean Tsunami and is working in the areas of administrative capacity development, research, community development and capacity building, mangrove restoration, monitoring and awareness, and education.

Mangrove Exhibition Garden

A mangrove exhibition garden area has been developed, to include 36 mangrove species, 6 of which are severely threatened. The garden is used for educational purposes for local schools and other visitors to the center, presenting not only flora and fauna species but also offering insight into the (usually hidden) nature of the mangrove wetland.

Educational Programs

The Mangrove restoration program of Nagenahiru is coupled with long-term Environmental education and the re-establishment of the livelihoods of wetland communities. The main target groups are families from poor communities in the wetland areas of coastal wetlands on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Central goals are to rehabilitate mangrove habitats in order to protect local communities against potential disasters, improve people’s self-reliance, mitigate poverty effects, and increase long-term access of people to sustainable use of natural resources.

Among the main activities are the installation of mangrove nurseries, the re-plantation of damaged mangrove forests, and the establishment and operation of an Environmental Education Center. The latter serves to educate and inform local people of the negative impacts of logging in forested areas.

Stakeholders of the Project

The project is planned and implemented mainly by Nagenahiru with very close links to various stakeholder groups from the communities involved, such as fishermen families, traditional wetland users such as farmers and people living in the wetland, women groups, and handicraft experts, teachers and school children, students, mayors, community leaders, and other relevant government authorities, conservation opinion leaders, entrepreneurs such as tourist boat operators. The project is working with Local stakeholder committees consisting of representatives from the schools located in the surrounding wetlands, the National Youth Services Council, Head priests of the nearby temples, representatives from lagoon fisher societies, and farmers, and representation from the other users of the wetland.

The project also addresses the poverty of the wetland communities in the wetland areas in Sri Lanka. The activities focus on the restoration of mangrove habitats through the establishment of community-based mangrove nurseries.

Volunteer Internship Opportunities

True out the tropical world mangroves are very important habitats contributing to the society, environment to mitigate climate change.

In Sri Lanka as taken many initiatives for the conservation of mangroves. For perfect mangrove restoration project is important to provide benefit to mangrove stakeholders of the relevant areas to encourage them to protected areas are mangrove eco system.

When the communities getting any short of economic benefits on their mangrove forest directly protected
mangrove eco systems.

Nagenahiru foundation is Sri Lanka to engage in restoration of mangroves during the last 2.5 decades making all
arrangements to provide opportunities to benefits local population true this restoration project. As follows

1. Providing canoeing tours in the mangrove forest.
2. Fishing with traditional fishermen.
3. Provision of eco camping facilities to the visitors.
4. Producing poisons free fruits and vegetables to the
visitors by growing ecological products.
5. Installation of bird watching huts different places
among the mangrove forest