SLYCAN Trust and MEPA Join Hands to Increase Sri Lanka’s Mangrove Cover in Celebration of International Mangrove Day

July 28, 2021

As part of the International Mangrove Day celebrations, the Marine Environment Protection Authority of Sri Lanka (MEPA) in collaboration with SLYCAN Trust planted 800 mangroves in Mangala-eliya, Mundel, in Puttalam District on the 25th of July. The mangrove restoration activities were carried out with the support of Mitsubishi Corporation and contributions from the Forest Department and Mundel Divisional Secretariat.


Speaking of the collaborative efforts to increase the mangrove cover in Sri Lanka, representatives of MEPA, the Forest Department, and the Mundalama Divisional Secretariat expressed their gratitude towards SLYCAN Trust for organizing this event for of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem which fell on July 26th. All the stakeholders at the event recognized the need to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses. Ms. Priyanga Samarasekara, District Environment Officer of MEPA stated, “Currently, MEPA is working on restoration and protection of mangrove ecosystems in the country. This is a timely action to further enhance MEPA efforts to enhance mangrove cover in the country”. 


The site for mangrove restoration was identified by MEPA and the Forest Department with support from SLYCAN Trust which provided technical assistance to conduct soil sampling as well as biodiversity and water flow assessments. Based on the preliminary assessments, Rhizophora mucronata and Avicennia marina were selected as suitable mangrove species for the site.


Mr. Damitha Samarakoon, Director Programme and Finance of SLYCAN Trust, highlighted that “mangrove ecosystems play an important part in climate change mitigation and adaptation. They protect the coastlines and enhance the resilience of vulnerable ecosystems and communities. To conserve these important ecosystems, we have planted a significant number of mangroves in several selected sites in Sri Lanka, including Kalpitiya and Dikkowita. Despite the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to continue our efforts to expand Sri Lanka’s mangrove cover. To celebrate International Mangroves Day, we have several other activities planned for this week to raise awareness on mangroves. SLYCAN Trust will continue to work with MEPA and other relevant stakeholders in this regard.”  


“Apart from climate change mitigation and adaptation, mangrove conservation and restoration activities have potential impacts on livelihood development and community empowerment,” added Ashan Karunananda, Assistant Manager - Research and Programmes at SLYCAN Trust. “Youth are a key stakeholder whose engagement is vital in building awareness and implementing more focused action. With that in mind, we collaborated with a youth group in Chilaw to purchase some of the plants needed for this restoration activity. We hope to continue to get their engagement in future activities to encourage their mangrove nursery initiative.”

At SLYCAN Trust, we collaborate with various stakeholders to initiate awareness creation and encourage mangrove restoration and conservation activities at local and national level to enhance Sri Lanka’s blue carbon ecosystem. 

For further information, please access the links below to watch the videos on mangrove restoration activities conducted by SLYCAN Trust in view of the International Mangrove Day.

Celebrating International Mangrove Day

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.