International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
26th of July 2023 - Lanka Mangrove Museum
The Lanka Mangrove Museum celebrated the 08th World Mangrove Conservation Day at the museum premises on 26th July 2023. The event was graced by the participation of Puttalam District Secretary as the Chief Guest. Others were Dr. Leela Padmini Batuwitage, Sri Lanka field representative of Seacology, Council members, Directors and Scientific Committee members of the museum, Officers of RTA, Officers of All the Divisional Secretaries of Puttalam District, Officers of Central Environment Authority, Divisional Forest officer and Range Forest officers, Officers of CCD, Officers of Wildlife Conservation Department, Officers of MEEPA, Officers from of Chilaw Zonal Education office, The GN Officer and Media officers, Journalists and others. This celebration is very important for the museum because the museum declared the registration with a New Name as “Lanka Mangrove Museum” an association under the Company Act. Not only that, The museum has opened its new website to the general public with its grand opening from the Puttalam District Secretary and declared the Teenage Environment Society under the theme as “Together with Mangroves” and made an open invitation to all to join this and connect with the museum for Mangrove Conservation activities.
Beyond that, Celebrating the World Mangrove Conservation Day, the Lanka Mangrove Museum has also conducted two awareness programs using Zoom on 24th and 25th July in line with this special day with the support of the Scientific Committee of the museum for providing valuable knowledge related to importance of mangrove ecosystem and conservation to the group of undergraduates of University of Ruhuna, University of Kelaniya, Ocean University and Open University, and students of Hapitigama National College of Education and others.
Considering that celebrating this day has a big story behind it. This day has first declared on 25th July 2015 as the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem by UNESCO and also known as World Mangrove Day for the commemoration of the effort and bravery of Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto. According to many sources, he died of a heart attack on 26th July 1998 during a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador. (https://mangroveactionproject.org/mangrovephotographyawards/?contest=photodetail&photo_id=76257) Therefore, his death anniversary celebrates as Mangrove Day for remember his bravery to mangrove conservation. Hence, the Mangrove Day is celebrated each year with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystem and to promote solutions for sustainable management of mangroves and mangrove conservation.
The Lanka Mangrove Museum was able to celebrate this day with the school students and their teachers of St. Joseph College, Kuliyapitiya, the Environment pioneers of Dhammissara National School, Nattandiya and St. Xavier College Marawila, scouting group of Rajaguru Scouting School and the children of “Together with Mangroves” Teenage Environment Society as Youth and other communities. The museum oraganized the following special events for the day to make people aware of the importance of Mangrove Conservation.
- Played a drama with the theme of Protecting Mangroves by the members of the “Together with Mangroves” teenage environment society.
- Aware the audience with the speech entitled as “Climate Change and Mangroves” conducted by Dr. Manoj Prasanna (member of the Scientific Committee of the museum) and the speech entitled as “Importance of Mangrove Conservation and Barriers” conducted by Prof. L.P. Jayatissa (a Director and the scientific committee member of the museum). In the Welcome speech conducted by the director of the Museum and the chief guest speech and the speech of Puttalam District Forest Officer also aware the audience about the role of the Lanka Mangrove Museum for Mangrove Conservation and the importance of Mangrove Conservation to make a better world.
- Awarding certificates for the students who participated this day
The museum would like to thank Ms. Karen Peterson (Seacology Sri Lanka Project Manager) and the Board members of Seacology for their financial support for the museum and Dr. L.P. Batuwitage (Seacology Sri Lanka representative) for her immensely support for the success of this event and thank all the people who give their support for the museum.