Restoration and Conservation Benefits of Mangrove Forest to the Coastal Communities: A Review on Sri Lankan Perspective


  • S. Vijitharan Department of Bio-Science, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka



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.


K. Kathiresan and B. L. Bingham, "Biology of mangroves and mangrove ecosystems," Adv. Mar. Biol., vol. 40, pp. 81-251, 2001.

S. Sandilyan and K. Thiyagesan, "Mangroves - the oceanic woodland," Sci. India, vol. 13, pp. 11-14, 2010.

FAO, "The world’s mangroves 1980-2005," FAO, Rome, 2007.

S. Hamilton and D. Casey, "Creation of a high spatio-temporal resolution global database of continuous mangrove forest cover for the 21st century (CGMFC-21)," Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 729-738, 2016.

N. Duke et al., "A world without mangroves?," Science, vol. 317, pp. 41-42, 2007.

B. B. A. Polidoro et al., "The loss of species: Mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of global concern," PLoS One, vol. 5, p. e10095, 2010.

D. Richards and D. Friess, "Rates and drivers of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia, 2000-2012," in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2016.

E. Barbier et al., "The Value of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystem Services," vol. 81, pp. 169-193, 2011.

FAO, "Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010," FAO, Rome, Italy, 2010.

IUCN, "Environmental and Socio Economic Value of Mangroves in Tsunami Affected Areas," 2007.

IUCN, "Technical Report, environmental and socio economic value of mangroves in Tsunami Affected areas, a study conducted in Panama, a village in southeastern coastal area," 2006.

J. Farley et al., "Conserving mangrove ecosystems in the Philippines: transcending disciplinary and industrial borders," Environ. Manage., vol. 45, pp. 39-51, 2010.

S. W. Kotagama and C. N. B. Bambaradeniya, "An Overview of the Wetlands of Sri Lanka and their Conservation Significance," National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka, 2006.

M. N. Jonsson, "Social -Ecological Resilience of Mangroves and Coastal Households in Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka," 2017.

P. Swarna et al., "Greening Mangroves," Dec. 2017, IUCN Sri Lanka Country Office, pp. 25.

M. De Silva and P. K. De Silva, "Status, diversity and conservation of the Mangrove forests of Sri Lanka," J. South Asian Nat. Hist., vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 79-102, 1998.

L. P. Jayatissa, F. Dahdouh-Guebas, and N. Koedam, "A review of the floral composition and distribution of mangroves in Sri Lanka," Bot. J. Linn. Soc., vol. 138, pp. 29-43, 2002.

L. P. Jayatissa, "Present Status of Mangroves in Sri Lanka. In: The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora," D. K. Weerakoon & S. Wijesundara, Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp. 197-199, 2012.

M. D. K. L. Gunathilaka, "Sustainability of mangrove restoration and conservation in kalpitiya, Sri Lanka," Wildlanka, vol. 5, pp. 142-149, 2017.

S. S. Nigamuni and S. M. C. U. P. Subasinghe, "Floral diversity of six mangrove forests alongthe northwestern coastline of wet, intermediate and dry climate zones of Sri Lanka," Wildlanka, vol. 3, pp. 184-194, 2015.

S. H. R. Priyadarshini, S. C. Jayamanne, and Y. N. Hirimuthugoda, "Diversity of mangrove crabs in Kadolkele, Negombo Sri Lanka," J. Aqua. Sci., vol. 13, pp. 109-121, 2008.

G. Ellepola and K. B. Ranawana, "Panama lagoon: A unique mangrove ecosystem in the east coast of Sri Lanka," Wetlands Sri Lanka, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 10-19, 2015.

F. Dahdouh-Guebas et al., "How effective were mangroves as a defence against the recent tsunami?," Curr. Biol., vol. 15, pp. 443-447, 2005.

K. A. S. Kodikara et al., "Carbon Partitioning and Allometric Relationships between Stem Diameter and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in Plant Components of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Lamk. and Lumnitzera racemosa Willd. in a Microtidal Basin Estuary in Sri Lanka," Int. J. Mar. Sci., vol. 3, pp. 72-78, 2013.

M. Muherjee et al., "Have Mangrove Restoration Projects Worked? An in-depth Study in Sri Lanka," Restor. Ecol., vol. 25, pp. 705-716, 2017.

U. Senarath and C. Visvanathan, "Environmental issues in brackish water shrimp aquaculture in Sri Lanka," Environmental Management, vol. 27, pp. 335-348, 2001.

D. Wickramasinghe, "Chapter 15 Coastal ecosystems and climate vulnerability in Sri Lanka," in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management), R. Shaw, J. M. Pulhin, and J. Jacqueline Pereira, Eds. Bingley, pp. 307-326, 2010.

C. Giri et al., "Mangrove forest distributions and dynamics (1975-2005) of the tsunami‐affected region of Asia," Journal of Biogeography, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 519-528, 2008.

J. W. Buultjens, I. Ratnayake, and W. K. A. C. Gnanapala, "Post-Conflict tourism development in Sri Lanka: implications for building resilience," Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 355-372, 2016.

IUCN, "IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1," Second edition, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN, 2012.

K. Kathiresan and N. Rajendran, "Coastal mangrove forests mitigated tsunami," Estuar Coast Shelf Sci, vol. 65, pp. 601-606, 2005.

S. Sandilyan, "Habitat quality and water bird utilization pattern of Pichavaram wetlands, southern India," Ph.D. Thesis, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, 2009.

L. M. Bland et al., "Guidelines for the application of IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria," Version 1.1, Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2017.

T. Balasubramanian and S. Vijayalakshmi, "Pollution threats to mangroves: water quality," in UNU-INWEH-UNESCO International Training course on coastal biodiversity in mangrove ecosystem course manual, K. Kathiresan and S. A. Jmalkhah, Eds., Annamalai University, CAS in Marine Biology, Parangipettai, pp. 76-89, 2004.

S. Sandilyan, "Mangrove - the evergreen emerald forest," Eco News, pp. 13-21, 2007.

A. Ashlin, "Adaptive governance and natural hazards: the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the governance of coastal ecosystems in Sri Lanka," in Adapting Institutions: Governance, Complexity and Social-Ecological Resilience, E. Boyd and C. Folke, Eds., pp. 216-239, 2012.

Ekaratne, Kumudini et al., "Small Grants, Large Gains: Lessons frommff Small Grant Facility Projects in Sri Lanka (2011-2013)," IUCN Sri Lanka Country Office, Colombo, pp. Viii + 115, 2013.

J. O. Bosire et al., "Functionality of restored mangroves: a review," Aquatic Botany, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 251-259, 2008.

AIMS, "Mangrove uses," 2005. [Online]. Available:

L. Emerton, Ed., "Values and Rewards: Counting and Capturing Ecosystem Water Services for Sustainable Development," IUCN Water, Nature and Economics Technical Paper No. 1, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group Asia, 2005.

D. D. D. Weragodatenna and A. B. A. K. Gunaratne, "Change Detection of Mangrove Coverage in Puttalam Lagoon of Sri Lanka Using Satellite Remote Sensing Techniques," Journal of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency, vol. 44, pp. 45-57, 2015.




How to Cite

Vijitharan, S. (2021). Restoration and Conservation Benefits of Mangrove Forest to the Coastal Communities: A Review on Sri Lankan Perspective. Asian Journal of Science and Applied Technology, 10(2), 42–49.