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Sri Lanka spearheads the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods (MELAG) under the Commonwealth Blue Charter, calling for fair, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable approach to ocean economic development and protection. Accordingly, Sri Lanka hosted the first meeting of the MELAG in early October this year, activities of which included developing a database of mangrove ecosystems, sharing technical expertise on mangrove restoration, and strengthening community partnerships and legal frameworks. This Action Group is not limited to Commonwealth countries, but to other countries, private sector and Community-based Organizations (CBOs), and research community all interested in mangrove ecosystems and livelihoods. LKI assisted in the preparation of the final outcome document to be published by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Commonwealth Secretary General Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland made a brief visit to a mangrove replanting site in Wadduwa in Koggala recently, in appreciation of the contribution Sri Lanka has made to improve its mangroves, which not only benefits Sri Lankans, but the world, in terms of increasing the carbon sequestration, which is 2-4 times more than tropical forests.
The Commonwealth Secretary General was accompanied by her Chief of Staff, Senior Communications Officer, Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment, and INSEE Cement Sri Lanka’s Company Communications and Reputation Manager.