A colloquium to understand the dynamics of estuaries and lagoons in Sri Lanka was organized by IUCN on 25 February, 2011 at the Waters Edge in Battaramulla under the aegis of the Mangroves for the Future Initiative, as a follow-up to the colloquium organised by IUCN Sri Lanka in late 2009 on mangrove rehabilitation efforts in Sri Lanka.
The objective of the present colloquium was to build consensus on, and partnerships for meaningful and practical approaches to the sustainable management of the country’s estuaries and lagoons.
Forty-one participants, including the Director General of Department of Wildlife Conservation, Director General of the Coast Conservation Department, Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board , senior officials of the Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, Irrigation Department and Lanka Hydraulics Ltd, scientists and researchers, and stakeholder agencies discussed and debated on a number of themes, relating to hydrology, hydraulics, regulatory aspects, valuation and community aspects of estuaries and lagoons.
Topics such as the main causes for the deterioration of the conditions of estuaries and lagoons, identifying lagoon systems that need urgent attention to support livelihoods of people, type of institutional system which is appropriate to manage estuaries and lagoons, how scientific information can be conveyed to local communities to make them strong in dealing with decision making, management of seasonal inlets and the need for policy decisions to be based on economic values were discussed in detail.
The recommendations of the colloquium will be made available soon.