In Sri Lanka, the Green Coast Project aims to enhance the livelihoods of people affected by the tsunami through the restoration and sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.
Sri Lanka, with its rich biodiversity, is recognised as one of the 25 Biodiversity Hotspots of the World. It is also densely populated, with a population of nearly 20 million residing on the small island. Being an island, much of the country is coastal and a large population resides in the coastal area.
The Sri Lankan coast was one of the most heavily damaged areas in the region following the tsunami of December 26th. Sri Lanka suffered the highest number of deaths after Indonesia, an estimated 31,000 people on the island lost their lives and thousands more are missing. The number of homeless people was estimated at about 800,000 while about 400,000 are said to have lost their livelihoods - primarily in agriculture and fishery. The tsunami caused severe damage in 12 of the country's 14 coastal districts.
In conjunction with the overall goals of 'Green Coast - for nature and people afer the tsunami', the project in Sri Lanka aims to provide support to environmental and socio-economic assessments. Furthermore it tries to influence policies and strategies for coastal rehabilitation and management; and in particular support the Green Coast concept. It also aims to implement community-based rehabilitation projects through a Small Grants Facility (SGF).
Six priority areas, representing all coastal eco systems of the island, have been selected. These are: Hikkaduwa to Unawatuna, Rekawa to Godawaya, Pallemalala to Kirinda, Arugambay to Thirukkovil, Akkaraipattu to Kalmunai and Kalmunai to Baticoloa.
IUCN Sri Lanka
The project in Sri Lanka is being implemented by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Sri Lanka Country Office, while Novib/Oxfam Netherlands (through Dutch public charity funds) is funding the entire project. Embodying the overall mission of the World Conservation Union, IUCN Sri Lanka (IUCN SL) has provided considerable support to national initiatives for the sustainable management of biodiversity and for enhancing local capacity for environmental management.
The Green Coast project hopes to help rebuild a more secure future for local communities in tsunami–affected regions, by creating livelihoods through the rehabilitation and sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.