In a press conference today in Colombo, Sri Lanka, US-based NGO Seacology, Sri Lanka-based NGO Sudeesa, and the government of Sri Lanka announced a joint program that will make Sri Lanka the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests.
Sri Lanka President Maithreepala Sirisena stated, “It is the responsibility and the necessity of all government institutions, private institutions, non government organizations, researchers, intelligentsia, and civil community to be united to protect the mangrove ecosystem. I highly appreciate and admire the joint effort made by the international non-governmental organizations Seacology and the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka to conserve the mangrove ecosystem of Sri Lanka.”
Mangroves are tropical trees that have thick, stilt like roots and grow in brackish swamps and shallow salt water. It is estimated that in the last 100 years, over half of the world’s mangroves have been lost and continue to be destroyed at a rate of about one percent per year. (www.habitat.noaa.gov/abouthabitat/mangroves.html)
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