Mangroves are a valuable ecological and economic resource to Sri Lanka. According to the Forest Department, Sri Lanka is home to over 20 mangrove species which extend over an area of 15,670 hectares. However, mangroves represent only 0.2% of the total forest cover.
Ships move over 80% of global trade, which equals billions of tonnes of goods per year. Companies around the world employ a total of more than 90,000 merchant ships, including immense container ships, the largest moving things on earth.
Forests have long been identified as one of the most important net carbon sinks that our planet possesses, as they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, sequestering it in the biomass of trees and as soil carbon. As climate change is now an undisputed reality, the role that forests can play in mitigating the impacts of climate change are becoming ever more crucial. As an island nation blessed with small but significant tracts of tropical rainforest, Sri Lanka is an ideal location to study how land use changes and forest deforestation and degradation impact a forest’s capacity to act as a carbon sink. By conserving and managing the forests that remain, and reforesting areas which have been degraded, Sri Lanka can also add its own lion’s share to the global battle against climate change.
This week in Incheon, the IPCC will finalize and release its most comprehensive and critical report on climate change for years to come. Its findings will show the profound impacts on human life and the decisive actions necessary to keep global temperature rise below 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius. If the world as we know it is to survive climate change, this report is required reading for everyone.