Participatory Coastal Zone Restoration and Sustainable Management in the Eastern Province of Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka
BEST PRACTICE IN:
Coast Conservation Department, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Sri Lanka)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Sri Lanka
Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Trust Fund; International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Government of Sri Lanka; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Sri Lanka is one of 18 global biodiversity hotspots recognized in the world. About half of its entire species are endemic. The Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, comprising the three coastal districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, and Ampara, has a coastline of approximately 360 km in length, and supports a population of approximately 1.54 million people (2004), 78% of which are rural, and about 30% live within the coastal belt. The Eastern Province was the worst hit by the tsunami of 26 December 2004, with 25-50% of the national damage caused estimated to have occurred here. In addition to the deaths and infrastructure destruction, Tsunami caused large scale damage to the coastal ecosystems as well.
The project objective is to mainstream restoration and management conservation of globally important ecosystems affected by the tsunami into the reconstruction process to support sustainable livelihoods and reduce vulnerability to climate change along the East Coast of Sri Lanka. It aims to integrate natural resource planning with poverty reduction through concerted and coordinated actions from all levels of stakeholders to achieve dual targets of effective long-term restoration of natural and human ecosystems through poverty alleviation and effective natural resources planning and the promotion of sustainable land management.
Ecosystem damage and livelihood opportunities affected by tsunamis in coastal regions of Sri Lanka
To mainstream restoration and management conservation of globally important ecosystems affected by the tsunami into the reconstruction process to support sustainable livelihoods and reduce vulnerability to climate change along the East Coast of Sri Lanka
The project aims to serve twin objectives:
• Restoration and conservation of the coastal ecosystems in the east coast to provide multiple ecosystem services (including reduced potential damage arising from future natural events (e.g. tsunamis and cyclones) through community based actions;
• Restoration and revival of agricultural and other economic opportunities in sustainable ways in selected areas affected adversely by the tsunami;
• Strengthening district administration to promote and integrate community-based natural resources planning and sustainable land management techniques into a coordinated restoration and conservation programme; and
• Enabling national planners to have access to necessary policy instruments and guidelines to accelerate the adoption of improved technical interventions for coastal ecosystem restoration and conservation that supports livelihoods in areas affected by the tsunami.
Poverty reduction objective
To protect the restored natural resources of the eastern coast while improving the livelihoods of the rural poor in the Eastern Province.
The project follows a unique approach of integrating community development objectives which coastal habitat restoration. It aspires to result in restoration of coastal habitats in Sri Lanka that are habitat to diverse coastal wetland species, including at least six globally-threatened ones and that are significantly degraded by the tsunami. At the same time, it will lead to capacity development of officials to promote community-based natural resource planning and sustainable land management.