Nagenahiru Foundation in Sri Lanka initiates its Mangrove restoration programme in early 2005 just after the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.
During last 9 years Nagenahiru was able to continue and expand its Mangrove rehabilitation activities in several wetland systems located in the south west coast of Sri Lanka including Maduganga and Madampa Lake wetland systems.
The all activities of the Nagenahiru Mangrove Restoration programmes were implanted with strong community participation ensuring the long term sustainability of the restored mangrove areas.
Objectives of the Project
The main objective is to facilitate the sustainable community management of Mangrove Ecosystems of the Madampa and Maduganga Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. This wildlife sanctuary an extensive lake system 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 aims to increase the communities’ understanding of the importance of the mangrove ecosystem through long term educational programmes and empowering communities in implementing mangrove conservation programmes.
The Project Aims to:
Establish an educational garden and demonstration nursery with an outdoor classroom for mangrove education Run 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.
The project also to seek the commitment of wetland communities towards the protection and development of sustainable mangrove forests. The project commenced activities in February 2005 just after 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.
The Mangrove restoration programme of Nagenahiru is couple with long term Environmental education and the re-establishment of livelihoods of wetland communities. The main target groups are families from poor communities in the wetland areas of coastal wetlands in south west coast of Sri Lanka. Central goals are to rehabilitate mangrove habitats in order to protect local communities against potential disasters, improve the 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 negative impacts from 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, National Youth Services Council, Head priests of the nearby temples, representatives from lagoon fisher societies, farmers and representation from the other users of the wetland.
The project also addresses 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.