Aug 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to rehabilitate state mangrove lands that have been abandoned after using for shrimp farming and salterns as part of a project to increase the extent of mangrove lands by 10,000 Hectares.
The cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to take back the state mangrove lands that were given on lease for aquaculture and now abandoned.
In order to conserve the existing mangroves the President has also proposed not to release the mangrove lands which are being administered by the Department of Forest Conservation and the Department of Wildlife Conservation for other development activities.
The President has proposed to take a decision to release the mangrove lands identified for aquaculture farming after a proper study made by a Committee comprising of the representatives of the relevant Ministries, Departments and other Institutions.
It has been proposed to direct the Divisional Secretaries and the Land Commissioner General, to handover the Government lands granted on lease basis for aquaculture and salterns and presently abandoned, without further extending the lease agreement, to the Forest Department to re-establish the mangroves.
The proposal further instructs the relevant departments to implement specific mangrove rehabilitation programs to increase the extent of mangrove lands by 10,000 Hectares.