Global Nature Fund - Bolgoda Lake (Sri Lanka)

Bolgoda Lake – Sri Lanka


Background Bolgoda Lake

Bolgoda Lake is situated in the South West of Sri Lanka, 19 kilometres from Colombo. The lake consists of two major water bodies and covers 374 square kilometres partly fresh and brackish water. It is one of the biggest sources of fresh water within the western district of Sri Lanka. Its natural beauty has great potential in an area bordering on Colombo for development, tourism and fisheries, but it is gravely threatened by industrial pollution. 

With industrial chemicals, effluents from the hotel industry, pollution from saw mills, destruction of wetlands and mangrove swamps been some of the worst problems faced by the area. This pollution has directly affected the surrounding drinking water and led to the growth of the weed Diya Habala which is slowly asphyxiating the lake´s fauna and flora.

As a consequence of this situation, EMACE has decided to take a double approach to the problem. The first approach involves a conservation project seeking to clean up the lake and develop an interest in local inhabitants via economic incentives to protect the lake from further pollution. Secondly EMACE aims to develop an industry with a local or foreign business to transform the sawdust into energy reducing the negative impacts of the mills on the lake.  

 Shoreline at Lake Bolgoda
 Tree nursery
 Bolgoda Lily
 One of the problems: uncontrolled waste desposit at the shore line

Project measures Bolgoda Lake

EMACE is an acronym for Environment & Science, Manpower & Skills, Adult & Parenthood Development Assistance, Childcare & Women’s rights, Education & Culture. Goals of this organisation are:

  • Environmental Conservation and Biodiversity Enhancement - EMACE is involved in projects related to solid waste disposal, pollution of waterways, deforestation, alternative energy sources, information dissemination, conservation and training and facilitation for enterprises to encourage higher productivity and environmental responsibility, such as ISO 14001 and Environmental Systems Management training.
  • Training - EMACE is an eager supporter of projects that enhance leadership, empowerment, gender equity, legal rights and skills training for employment, and is currently developing a training centre for IDP youths.  EMACE is especially concerned with the members of Sri Lanka''s society that have traditionally been marginalised, such as women, the poor and the homeless.
  • Human Rights and Social Mobilisation - EMACE''s community housing, income generation, credit programs and water and sanitation programs rely heavily on participatory development to improve basic human rights. 
  • Net working - One of EMACE''s greatest strengths is the vast network of CBOs, NGOs, international donor agencies, industries and government organisations that it can call upon to assist in various projects.
  • Education - The incorporation of environmental clubs, preschools, and alternative skills training form important initiatives for EMACE, and help foster a better socially and environmentally aware future generation
 Team of EMACE
 Mangroves at Bolgoda Lake

Since January 2012, the project "Mangrove Restoration in Asia" is implemented at Lake Bolgoda. During three years, native mangrove seedlings will be grown in tree nurseries and degraded mangrove forests will be reforested with this seedlings.

From December 2005 until December 2008, the successful implementation of the EU Asia Pro-Eco II B Post Tsunami Project: Post Tsunami Restoration of Mangroves, Education and Reestablishment of Livelihoods was effected.

Bolgoda Lake Conservation Initiatives

4th November 2010, numerous representatives of various ministries as well as of different authorities met in the Ministry of Environment. The protection of Bolgoda Lake has now become a national priority in the agenda of the Ministry of Environment.


New provisions should be implemented in order to prevent further destructions to Bolgoda Lake. In close co-operation with local police offices, different areas around the lake should be regularly and strictly controlled. Telephone numbers, provided in the relevant police areas, should be offered for public complaints and immediate actions.


These measures are a great progress for the protection of Bolgoda Lake, its natural resources, flora and fauna. EMACE and the Bolgoda Lake Conservation Committee are also involved in the future activities and developments.

 Hausgarten vor Ort
 Organic vegetable growing
 Restoration site at Bolgoda Lake
 Mangrove plants


Partnerorganisationen Bolgoda Lake



EMACE Foundation of Sri Lanka

Ekanayake Abeyrathne (Director)

15 Mihiri Place, Asiri Uyana, Katubedda, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka 

Phone (Mobile):  + 94 - 11 - 77 79 131 393,  72 7 913393 

Phone:  + 94 - 11 - 26 12 837

Fax: + 94 - 11 - 26 10 080



Bolgoda Lake Office

PO Box 96, Moratuwa 10400 Sri Lanka

No 60 Pahala Indibedda , Indibedda, Moratuwa Sri Lanka

Phone (Mobile): +94 - 11 - 777 - 91 33 93,  727 - 91 33 93

Phone: +94 - 11 - 26 12 837

Fax: +94 - 11 - 26 10 080