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EU LIFE Project

Post Tsunami Restoration of Mangroves, Education and Reestablishment
of Livelihoods
(EU Asia Pro-Eco II B Post Tsunami Project)


The project aims at the re-establishment of livelihoods of affected communities, restoration of Tsunami affected areas and long-term environmental education. The main target groups are about 1,000 families from poor communities in the lake areas of Bolgoda, Maduganga and Madampe in Sri Lanka. A central goal is to improve the people’s self-reliance, mitigate poverty effects, increase long-term access of people to sustainable use of natural resources and protect the local communities against potential disasters by the implementation of precautionary measures.

Among the main activities are the installation of mangrove nurseries, the re-plantation of damaged mangrove forests and the establishment and operation of regional education centres. The latter serves to educate and inform the local people of negative impacts from logging in forested areas and coral reef harvesting in order to reduce or avoid them as far as possible. The project results will be transferred to the Tsunami affected Pulicat region in India.


The English film "Mangrove Restoration in Sri Lanka" shows the successful work and results in Sri Lanka in frame of the project.



The overall objective of this project is the realisation of trans-national relief and mitigation activities involving Tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka as well as two European countries (applicant from Germany and experts from Spain) in order to transfer expertise. The project addresses Tsunami affected families and aims to create new livelihoods and restore land and water resources. Concrete actions comprise the implementation of mangrove nurseries and the long-term environmental education of the local population. The overall objectives can be divided into the following sub-goals.


Mangrove restoration

Disaster prevention measures through long-term restoration:
Restoration of mangroves on in total 15 ha in the two project areas in Sri Lanka (10 ha in Maduganga/Madampe and 5 ha in Bolgoda). Improvement of water quality and long-term protection (precaution) of Tsunami endangered areas. To organise and strengthen community institutional mechanisms to such an extent that they can plan, organise and successfully implement conservation and restoration measures of the resources in lakes and wetland systems. To integrate the long-term protection of the wetlands into the land use plans of communities.


April 2007

First experiences and results are documented in the following Mangrove Rehabilitation Guidebook, that can be downloaded as pdf-data.

Capacity building, reconstruction of basic infrastructure and know-how transfer

Transfer of technical solutions and know-how from the European countries involved. Installation of two "Environmental Education Centres", one in Maduganga/Madampe area and one in Bolgoda area. Capacity building for the communities and people living in and around the wetland systems in the three project areas in order to enable them to re-establish their livelihoods disturbed or destroyed by the tidal waves of Tsunami in an environmentally friendly way thereby sustaining the lakes and wetland resources.


The international Living Lakes network has been operating since 1998. The professional experience and background of the expert members will provide sufficient information, knowledge and skills to implement a long-term "Community Based Lakes & Wetland Resources Management Project". The network cooperates with NGOs and public/private sector institutions to develop, realise and install an appropriate concept for two low cost waste water treatment model systems on the basis of constructed wetland (Innovative Green Filter System) in the areas in order to reduce the diffuse nutrient intake.


Environmentally friendly alternative technologies

Promotion of environmentally friendly alternative technologies for the lake users. Installation of 3 model farms (1 in Maduganga and 2 in Bolgoda) for extensive and/or organic farming. Providing information to relevant stakeholders and launch of demonstration projects in the fields of sustainable fishing and solar energy use for night prawn fishing by providing new nets to 30 fishermen at Bolgoda and 30 fishermen at Maduganga as well as solar powered lamps to 15 fishermen at Bolgoda and 15 fishermen at Maduganga. Solutions for conflicting uses of the wetlands by promotion of environment friendly sawmills in the Bolgoda region.


Sensitisation and dissemination of the results to experts (through workshops, publications, demonstration video) and to a broader public and multipliers. Exchange of know-how between various regions affected by the Tsunami, i.e. to areas in India via the Indian project partner.


Awareness raising and protection of the biodiversity

Protecting the biodiversity of the (pilot) lakes and wetlands involved through community participation and developing long-term plans for their sustainable and profitable use. This will be achieved through the development of a highly effective business-community network around the lake and the initiation of strategic community projects. Developing an eco-tourism master plan and educate the community in sustainable use of the lake resources. Developing a data base of threatened endemic species in the lake areas, setting up an educational centre and conduct IEPAs (Initial Environmental Impact Assessment) on major development projects.


Further information about this project supported by the EU you find on the website of the European Commission's Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives under:



Information about other projects supported by the EU you find under:



Activities in India (Chennai Region)
The Indian partner CReNIEO (Centre for Research on New International Economic Order) is especially committed to the weaker sections of the Indian society (women, children, fishermen and tribal communities) with a focus on natural resource management at Pulicat Lake. Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish-water ecosystem on the East Coast of India, 60 kilometres north of Chennai City. The lake has a length of 60 km and a breadth of 0.2 to 17.5 km. On December 26th the area was affected by the Tsunami.
In July 1988 CRENIEO started a school at Pulicat with English as the medium of instruction. Today the school has close to 400 pupils - boys and girls - nearly 85 % of them come from the fisher folk communities. The school follows the Tamil Nadu Government Matriculation syllabus and has been granted recognition by the Directorate of School Education, Tamil Nadu.
Many fisherfolk communities at the lake and the sea have lost all means of livelihood. Since December 26th in 2004 till mid April 2005 the fishermen had not gone for fishing in the sea and the lake and they were depending on the relief provided by the government and other agencies. Indirectly many villages around have also been affected especially those that work in fish related trades.
Due to the similar problems in Sri Lankan and Indian lake regions the project will contribute to disseminate the projects results and experiences made to India. The project partner CReNIEO will attend all international project meetings and conferences to exchange know-how from the Sri Lankan project activities and discuss ways for transferability. The GNF will support CReNIEO in the dissemination activities in Pulicat region.
The local project coordinator will educate and inform Indian people with main focus on environmental education, sustainable land use, new job opportunities and sustainable fishery to avoid over-fishing of Lake Pulicat. These aspects are essential project elements in Sri Lanka. The measures will be developed for easy transferability to India and other Southeast Asian countries. That means the project contributes also to the reconstruction and development in other Tsunami affected countries.

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