Protecting and restoring mangroves is hugely important in the battle against human-induced climate change. By realizing all the importance of planting mangrove trees, under the project ‘Stepping stone safeguarding Sri Lanka’s Natural Environment’, Caritas EHED Batticaloa Diocesan center organized a Mangrove Planting Campaign on 17 March 2022.
This tree planting campaign was organized by the Caritas Diocesan Centre in coordination with the ‘Palameenmadu village Environmental Group,’ formed under the above project in January this year.
Palameenmadu is a fishing village surrounded by beautiful water bodies and famous for freshwater fishing.
The Director of Batticaloa Caritas EHED, Rev. Fr. A. Jesudasan , diocesan Project Coordinators, field officers, National Centre Project Coordinator, Officer In Charge of Koddaimunai Police Station, the leader of the local fisherman community, all the members of Palameennmadu village level environmental group and people who live in Palameenmadu village actively participated in this event.
60 mangrove trees and 50 mangrove stems were planted on the river shores during the day with the participation of the above people.
Mangrove forests support a wide array of biodiversity providing food and shelter for many species above and below the water from birds, mammals, and insects to fish and crustaceans. They are being important nurseries for fish and prawns. They help to protect coral reefs and seagrass beds by filtering run-off from the land, preventing much soil and sediment from entering the sea.
Mangroves also benefit humans in many ways by providing a source of food, traditional medicine, and timber in addition to protecting shorelines from erosion, storms, and rising sea level. They are also extremely effective at storing carbon in their leaves, wood, and roots, as well as in the sediments they hold in place. Sadly mangroves are threatened by coastal development plans, unsustainable firewood collection, and clearing for aquaculture.