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Sri Lanka

Kiralakele

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Conservation benefit: Support for mangrove conservation

Community benefit: Construction and furnishing of a store to sell locally produced products at the Kiralakele mangrove center

Date Approved: 07.2002

Mangroves

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

The Seacology-supported Kiralakele Mangrove Center, constructed in 2000, is fast becoming a major ecotourism destination. It hosts several thousand schoolchildren and other guests each year. The community has planted 50,000 mangrove seedlings.

Our partner in Kiralakele is the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka (Sudeesa). Seacology awarded the 2001 Seacology Prize to Sudeesa’s director, Anuradha Wickramasinghe, due in part to his dedication to this project. Seacology is now helping Sudeesa fund construction of a center to sell fruit, juice, and honey collected from the mangrove forest, as well as locally made handicrafts. This store will help young women from the community who have little education and few livelihood options.

Project Updates

July 2004

The Kiralakele Mangrove Center was dedicated in April 2001 and the construction of the store was completed in 2002. An October 2003 Seacology expedition visited the Kiralakele Mangrove Center and store. The Center continues to be a very popular tourist destination and is being utilized heavily by local schoolchildren and eco-tourists. On average 80 bottles of Kirala juice sell at the store every day, creating additional income to maintain the Center. Visitors are asking for more information on coastal resource conservation and coastal habitats. In 2004, after the last general election, the former Minister of Fisheries who gave the land to set up Kiralakele Mangrove Center became Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister. He visited the Center this past May and agreed to give his fullest cooperation to extend the activities of Kiralakele to all the schools and other areas of the country.

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