Rehabilitation and reconstruction of Pottuvil mangrove nursery

Rehab of Pottuvil nursery LK

Rehab of Pottuvil nursery LK , Sri Lanka © KEkaratne, 2009


This project aimed to encourage local community participation in environmental protection activities.


The Community-Based Eco-guide Association (CEGA), a group of professional eco-guides based in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, aims to promote community-based tourism as a means of generating income and raising living standards. Community-based ecotourism has proved to be financially viable, providing valuable extra income for fishermen in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. With a small grant from MFF, CEGA set out to rehabilitate and reconstruct Pottuvil mangrove nursery with the assistance of fishing communities in the Hidayapuram Cooperative Society.

Target beneficiaries

Members of Hidayapuram Cooperative, Arugam businesses and CEGA.


  • Propagation and planting of 6,500 seedling bags by the Hidayapuram Cooperative Society.
  • Construction of a fence and gate at the nursery.
  • Construction of a well.

Accomplishments and challenges

The project brought about an increased awareness and interest in environmental conservation and protection among the participating communities. It also increased cohesiveness and cooperation among community members. Further, it helped to increase local skills, knowledge and awareness about the technical requirements for collecting and propagating mangrove seeds, nursery management, and reforestation.
CEGA introduced an ecotourism programme through training of field guides; ecotours have proved an additional source of income for the community members belonging to the Hidayapuram Cooperative Society, increasing their economic power and independence.


Poor weather, including drought, led to a high seedling mortality rate. Stray cattle also destroyed a number of seedlings even though they were protected by barbed wire fencing and coverings.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Gender equality

The ecotours industry has the potential to create employment for both men and women in local communities.

Lessons Learned

Efforts to raise awareness among communities and improve stakeholder participation are needed throughout the project cycle. Project designers also need to plan from the outset to convince the community that they are the owners of the project and the benefit will be theirs.

Project Facts



Panama, Sri Lanka



1st Jan 2009 to 30th Sep 2009

MFF Grant Amount


Implementing Partner

Community-Based Eco-guide
Association (CEGA)
Main Street, Arugam Bay,
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 71 2058513

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