Vidattaltivu Coalition to Save Largest Remaining Contiguous Mangrove Forest and Last Known Refuge of the Locally Critically Endangered Dugong

The LEF has been working in collaboration with several local conservation organizations including the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), Environmental Foundation (EFL) and Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) to save the Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve (VNR) from a potential aquaculture project.

Declared as the island’s third largest Marine Protected Area (MPA), this ecosystem is home to a myriad of flora and fauna, including the locally critically endangered dugong. Located along the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka, VNR is a critical stop along the Central Asian Flyway, thereby making it of global importance.

Despite its protected status, several government agencies are seeking to de-gazette a portion of VNR in order to create an aquaculture park which will farm shellfish, exotic fish and shrimp. With several failed aquaculture ventures dotted along the northwestern coast, the Vidattaltivu Coalition seeks to stop the de-gazette and ensure VNR’s protected status remains.

As part of our work with the coalition, LEF has been involved in the production of an awareness video about the current status of VNR, workshops, planning sessions and a well designed and executed public awareness campaign.

With marine conservation being one of the core areas of interest for the LEF, this work with the coalition has become some of our first marine conservation related work undertaken. With the battle to save VNR on-going and mangrove destruction becoming a growing issue in Sri Lanka, the LEF has joined the Mangrove Conservation and Sustainable Utilization Forum to fight to conserve and restore Sri Lanka’s mangroves.

For more information on this work drop us an email at vinod@srilankaenvironmentfund.org