Establishment of the Kiralakele mangrove conservation program
Sri Lanka (called Ceylon before 1972), is a 25,000-square-mile island in the Indian Ocean. Its 30,000 acres of mangrove forests contain over half of the world’s mangrove species. Mangroves, which provide natural protection to coastline and act as important fish nurseries, are among the planet’s most endangered ecosystems.
In response to threats to Sri Lanka’s mangroves, the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka (also known as Sudeesa) has begun a mangrove conservation program. Seacology support has enabled Sudeesa to establish the Kiralakele mangrove conservation program in southern Sri Lanka. This program combines rehabilitation of degraded mangrove areas with the establishment of a mangrove arboretum as an ecotourism destination, and the construction of the south coast’s first mangrove resource center. Sudeesa director Anuradha Wickramasinghe received the 2001 Seacology Prize in recognition of his outstanding work to preserve coastal resources and provide stewardship and economic opportunities to fisher folk in Sri Lanka.Full or partial funding for this project provided by