Sri Lanka Projects in Focus during International Media trip

May 07, 2017

Dugongs and their seagrass friends are certainly getting more attention these days as global attention was directed toward the Dugong and Seagrass of Sri Lanka in April. Numerous print and electronic media outlets highlighted the excellent conservation initiatives of our partners there.

Stories appeared in 13 countries and generated an estimated reach of 4.8 million people!

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) worked with our local partners in Sri Lanka including BEAR, IUCN, Sri Lanka Turtle Conservation Project, NARA, ORCA and the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Fishing is an important way of life in Sri Lanka

The hosts invited media to their project sites in Kalpatiya and Puttlam Bay. The journalists witnessed first hand villagers creating batique, artisinal fisheries, sewing, as well as our scientists surveying seagrass beds, searching for dugongs, and working with local fishermen to impliment sustainable fishing practices. The mobile application to report dugong sightings and community groups dedicated to the conservation of dugong and seagrass.

International media from Philippines, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Europe and North America all filed stories.

There was some excellent TV coverage, as seen in the following two links:

NDTV – 20 minute documentary – from one of India’s most watched TV channels

Japan’s public broadcasting network NHK – covers the dugong project in Sri Lanka with this beautiful 4 minute news piece

Here are a few more examples:

Countries move to save sea cow population
by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Manila Bulletin, Philippines, 29 March 2017

Investing in women: Saving wildlife the Lankan way
by Stella Paul
Blog (in English), 14 April 2017

In Sri Lanka’s Deep Waters, Marine Conservation Goes Hi-Tech
by Stella Paul
International Press Syndicate (in English and Japanese), 27 March 2017 – 422k

Death at the bottom of the bay
by Zhao Xu
China Daily, 22 April 2017

As sea ails, it’s sewing machines to the rescue
By Zhao Xu
China Daily Website, 22 April 2017

Perhaps the most attention and the most valuable attention came from Sri Lanka itself. Our partners were able to place more than 10 stories in local media and raise the profile of their work and the importance of dugong and seagrass conservation to local fishing communities in Sri Lanka.

Protecting Sri Lanka’s Dugongs
by Ifham Nizam
The Sunday Leader, Sri Lanka

Saving the imperiled ‘sea cows’
by Disna Mudalige
Daily News, Sri Lanka

Threatened dugongs thrown a lifeline
by Malaka Rodrigo
Sunday Times, Sri Lanka

Incentives for dugong hunters to abandon illegal killings abandon illegal killings
by Malaka Rodrigo
Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, 16 April 2017

Kalpitiya reef under threat
by Disna Mudalige
Daily News, Sri Lanka, 20 March 2017

Sri Lanka: Kalpitiya reef under threat
Wild Singapore Ria Tan SGP Mar 2017

Destruction of Coral Reef financial blow to fisheries : Reef under threat, future unknown
by Disna Mudalige
Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka, 26 March 2017