SRI LANKA UNDERTAKES COMPREHENSIVE MANGROVE PROTECTION
In partnership with ocean-focused nongovernmental organizations, the Sri Lankan government announced that it will grant full protection to all of the country's mangrove forests, making it the first country to implement such comprehensive conservation practices for the coastal ecosystems. The program will protect nearly 9,000 hectares of forests and restore 3,800 hectares that have been destroyed. It will also provide job training and microloans to women in communities near the protected areas, as well as funding for rangers to enforce the laws. In the announcement, the government and partner groups pointed to many of the ecosystem benefits mangroves provide, specifically storm surge protection, noting that more mangroves could have mitigated the damage from the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0604-mrn-gfrn-joshi-sri-lanka-protects-mangroves.html.