Restoration and Conservation Benefits of Mangrove Forest to the Coastal Communities: A Review on Sri Lankan Perspective
Keywords:Coastal community, Conservation, Restoration, Benefits, Livelihoods, Mangrove forest, Sri Lanka
Mangrove forest plays a vital role to enhance the standard of living in coastal communities by providing a variety of products and services. However, the mangrove forest cover was 0.2% which is much less than other existing forest types. The objective of the study was to conduct a review of mangrove forest resources and their associated benefits to coastal communities through conservation and restoration in Sri Lanka. This study reviewed secondary data such as peer-reviewed published research papers and reports for this study. The present extent of mangrove forest cover is increased to 16,000 ha between 2015 and 2016. Notably, the Puttalam district has the highest extent of mangrove forest. 10% of mangroves are cleared for prawn farming in the Chilaw and Kalpitiya. Mangrove forests provide vegetables, fuelwood, timber, and seafood to local communities to accomplish their subsistence and commercial uses. The restoration project has been initiated by the Sri Lankan government with the partnership of non-profit organizations and Seacology. Rhizophoraand Avicinnia was the main species used for replanting. Community-based restoration and conservation approaches are widely considered and implemented for replanting mangroves. This study recommends that future researches need to be focused more on the mangrove forest in each province, and their values to empower the livelihood, and more in-depth scientific studies regarding the effective mangrove restoration, conservation, and quantification of mangrove forests carbon stocks through REDD+ scheme to obtain incentives to improve the living standards of the mangrove-dependent community.
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