Mangrove planting initiative takes root in Northwestern Naval Command
Coinciding with the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem (26th July), the Sri Lanka Navy on 14th and 21st July launched a mangrove planting initiative in Kappaladi of Kalpitiya and salt marshes of Malwathu Oya, joining hands with the Ministry of Environment and Dilmah Tea.
Following the directives of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the Sri Lanka Navy is actively involved in planting mangroves in estuaries and lagoons, as part of its ongoing mangrove conservation project across all naval commands. The recent initiative was yet another milestone of the timely project, organised by SLNS Vijaya and SLNS Therapuththa under the supervision of Commander Northwestern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Nishantha Peiris. The initiative was a remarkable and environmentally significant project undertaken with collaborative efforts of Dilmah Tea and Tokyo Cement that provided mangrove seedlings. Meanwhile, Dr. Manoj Prasanna, a distinguished expert in the field, played a crucial role in this endeavour by conducting informative and engaging lectures.
The mangrove ecosystem plays a significant role in safeguarding the biodiversity of the coastal ecosystem. The distinct ecosystem serves as a fertile habitat for a wide variety of fish species, offering significant benefits to the fishing community as well. Additionally, the ability of mangroves to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases highlights the importance of preserving and expanding these habitats in effectively mitigating global warming in the long run.
The mangrove ecosystem also plays an essential role in limiting the waste that finds its way into our precious oceans. They also stand against the relentless forces of erosion, safeguarding the coastal environment in lagoons, rivers, and estuaries. Moreover, mangroves can even contribute to air purification, ensuring mankind can breathe in fresh and clean air. Realizing the immense value of these guardians of our coastal belt, the Sri Lanka Navy often throws its weight behind initiatives that are set in motion to protect the mangrove ecosystem.