GNF - Post Tsunami Project: Progress

Great Progress in Sri Lanka


The 2004 Tsunami catastrophe was the impetus for the Global Nature Fund to start a project in Sri Lanka which has attained broad success. Since December 2005, 150 inland fishermen have received new nets and boats along with solar lamps which replace the environmentally harmful kerosene lamps. In 30 newly built tree nurseries around the Madampe, Maduganga and Bolgoda lakes, more than 100,000 mangrove trees were grown and relocated. With this the GNF proves that donations do reach those in need and can, at the same time, benefit environmental protection.


The building of two Environmental Education Centers, which celebrated their grand opening in April 2008 in Sri Lanka, was made possible by the donations of the GNF. The center offers courses and seminars on the almost forgotten, traditional handicraft techniques. These new courses offer the opportunity of a new source of income for the local population. The Environmental Education center also works closely with schools and other education centers. In one of the two centers, people are trained for environmental protection. This center is in Godahena, on the border of an intact and protected Mangrove forest in the Madampe area. One of the attractions of the education center is a brack-water aquarium which is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and very popular, especially among school children. 


Promotion of model sewage treatment

The waste water treatment technology used in the education center in Godahena demonstrates an ingenious solution: Green filters which utilize the cleaning potential of certain plants have been used here. The sewage treatment facility using plants was implemented successfully by the GNF’s Spanish partner organization Fundación Global Nature in the Dominican Republic and Spain. It was used for the first time in Sri Lanka. The facilities are inexpensive to build and maintain. Until now sewage from villages most often simply fed into rivers which, in turn, was harmful to the Mangrove forests.


Long term help and partnership is necessary

The previous months have been a new beginning for many people in Sri Lanka. However much remains to be done. The financing of the projects from 2009 onwards has not been ensured. Only through a long term partnership can the motivation for people to help themselves be guaranteed. In it’s projects, the GNF puts a great deal of emphasis on disaster prevention. Intact Mangrove forests and the planting of new Mangrove trees creates and maintains the natural protective ring around the village. Mangrove forests can decrease the effects of tidal waves and climate conditional disasters. The project in Sri Lanka was developed with almost 700,000 Euros. Sponsors are the Serendib Foundation, the Merz Foundation and Sika. The main portion of the aid comes from the European Union.