Sri Lanka’s current mangrove cover, estimated to be 15-000 19,000 Hectares, is a mere 0.3% of the total landmass and is critically low, putting the island at risk from the impact of climate change and natural disasters such as storm surges and Tsunamis. Mangroves are an integral part of our forests and constitute about 2% of Sri Lanka’s total forest cover – they are very much a part of the fast dwindling 17% of our primary forests.
WNPS’s Accelerated Natural Regeneration of Mangroves (ANRM) Project was launched with the goal of regenerating the damaged mangrove habitats in Anawilundawa Wetlands and building sustainable livelihoods in surrounding communities. The project aims to restore approx. 45 hectares (110 acres) of the mangrove ecosystem at Anawilundawa, which have been destroyed due to shrimp farming.
WNPS partnered the Department of Wildlife Conservation on this project in the first half of 2020 and despite the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project has successfully reached its initial milestones including recording of the faunal and floral species in a section of the surrounding habitats, creating a mangrove plant nursery using harvested seeds from the site and establishing baseline data for the project.
This important conservation project is to be conducted by Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), Department of Forests (FD), Wayamba University (Science Partner), facilitated by the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS).
Referred to as “Blue forests” coastal and marine ecosystems consisting of mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and tidal salt marshes are some of the most efficient carbon sequestration tools found in nature. They can store up to ten times more CO2 per unit area than tropical rainforest, making them a powerful weapon against global warming and climate. These natural ecosystems also play a key role in the country’s coastal protection and provides protection from storm surges and catastrophic events like floods & tsunamis. Not only this, mangrove ecosystems provide sustainable livelihoods for many rural communities.
In the late 1990’s over 50% of Sri Lanka’s Mangrove habitat was destroyed to establish Shrimp Aquaculture, severely affecting the functioning of coastal ecosystems. This destruction of ecosystems is compounded by the fact that it also cripples livelihoods that depended on Mangroves associated small industries like Artisanal Fishing, Firewood, Herbal Medicine and Tourism. Anawilundawa Wetlands was one such damaged habitat, which is a wetland ecosystem of global importance and one of six RAMSAR sites in Sri Lanka.
It is home to over 150 species of birds; both resident and migratory, 20 species of mammals and over 70 species of butterflies; whilst over 50% of the country’s freshwater fish species are found in these waters. Human intervention on restoration of mangrove habitats is needed to ensure that this destroyed habitat is brought back to its original glory, comprising all flora and fauna that were specific to the ecosystem.
This requires the careful systematic, scientific process of Accelerated Natural Mangrove Regeneration, with minimal external intervention. In addition, a critical dimension of this process is the engagement of local communities to ensure the regeneration of sustainable livelihoods in the communities that live around these mangrove habitats. The ANRM project takes into account all these elements and WNPS hopes to continue with upcoming project plans, now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us.
WNPS is thankful to Hemas Consumer Brands who have come on board as a long-term financial partner on the ANRM project, to assist the regeneration of mangrove habitats as well as to enhance local livelihoods. Part of Sri Lanka’s Hemas Group, Hemas Consumer Brands, is a leading manufacturer in beauty and personal care sector. Their operations are focused on the three components of Sustainability; Environment, Social, and Economic and partner with conservation organisations on several environmental conservation projects to protect and restore Sri Lanka’s natural environment.
Founded in 1894, the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS) focuses on the conservation of wildlife, forests, marine eco-systems as well as endangered species. Their mission is to protect Sri Lanka’s rich natural heritage by galvanizing policymakers, scientists, activists, nature lovers and the public; to preserve nature and wildlife through sustained conservation activities built on science, legislation, education and citizen mobilization. For the last 127 years WNPS has been working with many stakeholders including the government, scientists, policy makers, conservationists, educators, activists and the private sector, to protect Sri Lanka’s rich natural heritage of flora and fauna, for our future generations.
If you would like to find out more about the ANRM project, please visit www.wnpssl.org or email email@example.com
HNB renews partnership with Prime Group for exclusive home loans
Paving the path for aspiring homeowners, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank, HNB PLC, renewed its long-standing partnership with local real estate giant Prime Group to offer investors exclusive deals and benefits.
The partnership will offer customers a range of benefits, including special interest rates during the September and October promotional period. The exclusive offer extends to all properties across Prime Group’s extensive portfolio, including highly anticipated Prime Residencies projects, such as The Grand Ward Place, The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa II and 43 by the Sea on Marine Drive, Dehiwala.
“Building your own home in Sri Lanka can be quite a challenge. The escalating costs of construction, driven by rising inflation, have added to the struggle. We at HNB remain steadfast in our commitment to empower every Sri Lankan to own a home of their own. As such, we are delighted to partner with Prime Group again to offer our customers affordable financing options and exceptional services,” HNB Assistant General Manager – Personal Financial Services (PFS), Kanchana Karunagama, said.
Delivering the best value to its customers, HNB will offer special interest rates during the promotional period. Prospective homeowners can make use of convenient and flexible repayment options tailor-made to their budgets, together with doorstep mortgage advisory services provided by the Bank’s dedicated agents, who will assist with the legal documentation needed for the facility.
“As Prime Group, our mission is to empower Sri Lankans with the chance to achieve homeownership, allowing them to find stability and make the most of these challenging times. Therefore, it is a pleasure for us to partner with HNB in serving our customers,” Prime Group Director – Corporate Affairs Nalinda Heenatigala said.
SLT-MOBITEL empowers Apple iPhone users across Sri Lanka to embrace 5G revolution
SLT-MOBITEL is providing a groundbreaking opportunity, enabling customers with latest Apple iPhone devices to experience the best of 5G technology through its state-of-the-art 5G trial network. Apple users who have 5G compatible iPhone devices and with the latest iOS 17 update can now experience 5G when they are in a SLT-MOBITEL 5G trial zone.
Recognising 5G as a game-changer, SLT-MOBITEL was the first to trial 5G technology in South Asia in 2018 and has been at the forefront of the 5G revolution in Sri Lanka ever since. Recently, SLT-MOBITEL expanded its 5G pre-commercial trial network across main cities including Colombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Galle, and Jaffna, setting pathways for customers to seamlessly explore the possibilities of 5G technology.
Celebrating the new offering, SLT-MOBITEL is providing its customers with an amazing 10GB of free trial data on the lightning-fast 5G network. The trial data allows users to explore the capabilities of 5G without an initial cost and harness the full power of 5G technology, unlocking a world of new possibilities.SLT-MOBITEL extends a special invitation to customers who own 5G enabled iPhone 12 devices and beyond, to seize this exciting opportunity and become part of the 5G revolution by updating their eligible iOS device.
SLPA poised as an exemplary model for SOEs, says its chairman
Keith D. Bernard – the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), welcoming the attendees as chair, made this comments at the Annual Performance Review Meeting (APRM) of SLPA for the year 2022. The meeting was held on September 14, 2023, at its headquarters in Colombo.Entities incorporated under any statute other than the Companies Act must have an APRM every year where the annual report is presented. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) was established under Act No. 51 of 1970.
In terms of the Guidelines for Corporate Governance of PED Circular No. 1/2021 dated November 16, 2021, it is important that the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) maintain continuous communication with their stakeholders at all times through mandatory requirements such as the Annual Report. Such disclosure of information ensures transparency and accountability without compromising any statutory or operational requirements of the entity.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of SLPA expressed his perspective on the organisation’s future direction. He acknowledged SLPA’s recent achievements and progress in completing the East Container Terminal (ECT) and stressed the need for strategic planning with government support for the future.
“At present, SLPA serves as the regulator, operator, and landlord of our ports. In our capacity as the landlord, we possess assets throughout the country, and all commercial ports fall under the purview of SLPA. Additionally, we compete directly with private operators as operators ourselves. Therefore, we must carefully consider whether our role as operators should remain independent or involve collaboration with other operators. It’s crucial that we approach this strategically and define our precise role in this sector for the future,” he said.
Bernard also highlighted the significance of conducting a self-assessment in the pursuit of good governance within the organisation.
“We have commendable ministerial support and boast a talented team of dedicated professionals who tirelessly work towards the success of our port. While we have encountered challenges in the past, we are confident that, leveraging our strengths, we can overcome any hurdles. SLPA has the potential to serve as an exemplary model for the private sector, leading the way and becoming a guiding beacon for all institutions in Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Additional Director General of the Department of Public Enterprises – B.A.T. Rodrigo, commenting at the event, mentioned that in comparison to the other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Sri Lanka, SLPA is the leading SOE amongst them and has been a role model to other SOEs. He wished SLPA would continue doing so in the future. He also thanked the Chairman, the Board of Directors, and the Management of SLPA for arranging the APRM adhering to the good governance guidelines.
France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger after coup: Macron
Osiris-Rex: Nasa confirms return of asteroid Bennu samples
Iyer, Gill, Suryakumar and Ashwin stud India’s series-clinching win
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
#Sundayisland Sunday Island- 31 January- Headlines
Sports4 days ago
Selectors make ‘U’ turn after requesting Shanaka to step down
News3 days ago
In terms of RTI Act House releases names of MPs who voted for new law
News5 days ago
Ex-Army Chief’s services to the nation stressed
Sports6 days ago
Kusal, Charith and Dunith in ESPN’s Asia Cup team of the tournament
News1 day ago
Business focus shifting in a more favorable direction
Features6 days ago
Truth seeking needs to go beyond Easter bombing
Business6 days ago
CBSL underscores importance of SL committing to anti-money laundering measures
Business4 days ago
David Cameron to address Port City Colombo UAE Roadshow