©Ami Vitale

"Mangroves contribute to climate resilience, food security and biodiversity"

Statement from the Government of Sri Lanka on World Mangrove Day 2017

On World Mangrove Day 2017, governments from tropical regions rich in mangrove habitat issued statements recognizing the important role these forests play in daily life and nature.

Mangrove forests are one of the most productive and diverse ecosystems in Sri Lanka. With a total mangrove cover of 11,600 ha, mangroves contribute to climate resilience, food security and biodiversity in near shore and inland environments.

Sri Lanka takes a keen interest in mangrove habitats and, as a continuation of   the ‘Sri Lanka NEXT-  A Blue Green Era’  programme, launched in  2016, H.E. the President has srilanka launched a national mangroves conservation effort to protect the mangrove forests and replant an additional 4,000 ha of mangrove forests. Three mangrove nurseries were established in the North Western Coast along with the world’s first museum entirely dedicated to mangroves.

Commenting to BBC News on the importance of mangroves, H.E. President, Maithreepala Sirisenahas mentioned that “it is the responsibility of all public and private institutions, non-governmental organizations, researchers, intelligentsia and the civil community to be united to protect the mangrove ecosystem.”

In this context, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment warmly welcomes the partnership between Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and the new Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) to add value to the efforts of the State and non-governmental organizations to conserve critical coastal habitats, especially mangroves.

Anura Dissanayake

Secretary, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka