Sri Lanka to lead global mangrove restoration: Commonwealth

 ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has stepped up as a ‘Champion’ to lead mangrove restoration globally, a statement from the Commonwealth office said.

 
“Sri Lanka has taken the lead in championing mangrove restoration," Sri Lanka Ocean Affairs Director General Hasanthi Dissanayake was quoted as saying by the Commonwealth in a statement.
 
"Not only do mangroves help reduce the impacts of climate change as powerful carbon sinks, they also support aquaculture, biodiversity and the blue economy," she said.
 
"These issues are all interlinked and the Commonwealth can help countries identify synergies and sync our efforts towards the same goals.” 
 
‘Champion’ countries of the Commonwealth Blue Charter are laying the groundwork for joint action and robust, innovative strategies to tackle the world’s most pressing ocean issues.
 
Sri Lanka is one of 12 countries that have stepped forward to lead nine ‘action groups’ under the Blue Charter – a commitment made by the 53 Commonwealth member states to work together to solve ocean-related problems.
 
Key officials from Sri Lanka joined a four-day programme for action groups in London, which concluded today.
 
From 18 to 21 June, delegates focused on strategies to rally members, mobilise resources for collaborative projects and boost public awareness. 
 
“We are determined for our collective engagement on the Commonwealth Blue Charter to focus on practical action, and for our response to be guided principally by those who experience most acutely the difficulty and trauma of ocean and climate-related challenges," Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said.
 
"They will be further supported by the acuity and knowledge of all the partners we can find, with the emphasis always on action," she said.
 
Other action groups include: Aquaculture (led by Cyprus), Coral Reef Protection and Restoration (co-led by Australia, Belize, Mauritius), Ocean Observations (Canada), Ocean Acidification (New Zealand), Ocean and Climate Change (Fiji), Marine Plastic Pollution (United Kingdom, Vanuatu), Blue Economy (Kenya), and Marine Protected Areas (Seychelles).
 
A special networking day co-organised with Bloomberg Philanthropies linked up countries with more than 50 potential partners from the private sector, academia, civil society, philanthropies and the international development community.
 
The delegates were hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss priorities leading up to the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in June 2020. (Colombo/Jun22/2019)