Sudeesa, our partner NGO in the Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Project, received a prestigious award last month from president Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena, whose term ended this month, presided over the annual awards ceremony, which recognized Sri Lankan institutions and individuals who have shown stewardship of the island country’s environment. Sudeesa was the only NGO to receive an award this year.

Sudeesa has played the leading role in implementing our ambitious five-year mangrove-protection plan. It raised and planted hundreds of thousands of mangrove seedlings in nurseries around the country. It also trained more than 10,000 low-income women, who live in coastal communities, in sustainable skills; in turn, they pledged to protect their local mangroves. The innovative conservation model attracted support from Sri Lanka’s navy and other government institutions, and Sri Lanka now leads an international committee on mangrove conservation at the Commonwealth of Nations.

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