Pottuvil coastal area was once blessed with healthy mangrove vegetation which is now only restricted to small patches. Only about 300 ha of mangrove vegetation exists in the whole of Ampara district which is now mainly found in Pottuvil and Panama coasts. The mangroves are cleared for agriculture and human settlements.
Community in Pottuvil underwent immense harship due to 30 year long civil unrest. The Grantee felt that it is time to divert their attention to protection of environment. The programme covered five shools and educated 50 community leaders.
Community discussions and obtain concurrence & approval from Educational Authorities. (Zonal Education Office, Pottuvil & Thirukkovil ) Student from the following schools are identified for this projects.
Four awareness creation programmes for students on Mangrove ecosystems, uses of mangroves, threats and conservation methods.
Two field visits for students to familiarize with mangrove plants.
Training for students to develop and implement simple research projects on mangroves ecosystems.
Conduct one exhibition on the importance of and threats to mangroves in Pottuvil area for knowledge dissemination to other students and parents.
Two awareness creation and capacity building programmes for CBO leaders (fisheries societies, farmer organizations, RDS and youth organizations), village heads, religious heads and officials on Mangrove ecosystems, threats and conservation methods, coastal policy framework & legal Governance and integrated coastal management.
180 students from 5 schools:
50 community leaders.
Enhanced the knwoledge on environmetn in 180 students and 50 community leaders.
The major challenges experienced were 1) the cultural issues where students from ladies colleges were not permitted to participate in the training and awareness programmes; 2) delay caused due the fasting festival, 3) the administration of schools falling into different educational zones.
Beneficiaries were both male and females (students and community leaders). Climate change related threats in the area were also discussed during the awareness programmes.
a) Difficulties encountered when handling unwieldy large number of student
b) The term tests and school holidays often fell at times when important project activities had to be conducted
c) Inability to attract big crowds to exhibitions when held in isolation
d) Since some teachers showed enthusiasm, their active participation could be obtained in future activities
e) Most activities were of short duration, but for better long term effects, continuous awareness programmes supported with name boards, information centres as well as motivation towards eco-tourism should be promoted.
1st May 2011 to 31st Oct 2011
"We are happy with the achievements of this project. We were able to enhance the knowledge on environment of 180 students, 20 teachers and 50 community leaders". Mr M A J Riyaz, Project Manager