Divisional Forest Officers enhance their knowledge on declaration process of mangrove forests in Sri Lanka
Mangroves for the Future (MFF) over the past few years has been supporting capacity building of National Coordinating Bodies (NCBs) of its member countries. In 2012, MFF introduced in-country training workshops based on the needs of respective NCB member organizations and three such programmes have been held since then. The workshop entitled, Technical workshop on legal status, spatial distribution and declaration process of mangrove forests of Sri Lanka, is second in the series for 2013 organized by the Forest Department (FD) and was held on 24 September at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo 7. The workshop had two objectives: (1) to understand the legal status, spatial distribution and declaration process of mangrove forests so that the trainees will be able to apply that knowledge in conservation activities; and (2) to improve knowledge of stakeholders on the legal status and other related issues to mangrove conservation. The workshop which was conducted by University professors, a leading environmental lawyer and senior officials of the FD covered topics such as importance of mangroves in the coastal ecosystem, threats to mangroves in Sri Lanka, legislation related to protection of mangroves, declaration process and mapping of mangrove areas using Google Earth and ArcGIS. A total of 32 participants representing the FD, Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy, Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Central Environmental Authority, Marine Environment Protection Authority, Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Navy and Universities, attended this programme. Of the 32 participants, 11 were Divisional Forest Officers. As a result of this workshop, the Divisional Forest Officers who underwent training will now be able to apply their newly acquired knowledge to more effectively carry out the process of declaring protected mangrove areas.