Mangroves restoration in Batticaloa with the support of the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka
Sevalanka Foundation has continued its nature conservation efforts in Batticaloa through the project “Community-driven nature conservation through mangroves restoration in the surroundings of Batticaloa lagoon” funded by the Canadian High Commission through its Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.
The project’s main objectives were to create awareness amongst the local communities on the importance of lagoon environment and to mobilize them to protect it sustainably. This effort began through establishing a mangroves nursery and planting 10,000 mangroves along the Batticaloa lagoon within the Manmunai North divisional secretariat division with the participation of the local fishing community and the youth.
The local fishing community considered this project a great support for the future of their main livelihood which is fishing. They witnessed the impacts of mangroves deforestation in their own area, which resulted in reduced catches in fish; which were in contrast to the periods when mangroves were thriving. Due to such reasons, they demonstrate more interest towards this project as they are able to understand the change that mangroves deforestation brings.
These mangroves were destroyed during the Conflict period in Sri Lanka. Therefore restoration of these mangroves was very important to this fisher-community of this area. Although the main concept behind the project was to support nature and bio diversity conservation, Batticaloa city and the local fisher-community has benefited immensely on the increase of fish hauls as well. Therefore the project also contributed in enhancing the livelihood of these fishermen and making it sustainable.