Establishing a marine conservation coordination centre in north-west Sri Lanka (LK2).
This project seeks to improve the conservation of dugong and seagrass hotspots by strengthening legal, administrative and technical capacity with the participation of relevant government institutions, local communities and businesses, and non-governmental organisations.
LK2 aims to establish a marine conservation coordination centre in north-west Sri Lanka, featuring computerised communication systems to overcome the current lack of communication between the head office of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the Navy and Coast Guard, and local communities. This will facilitate the recording of incidents such as sightings and animal or habitat destruction, allowing immediate responses and remedial measures to be implemented.
Permanent officers, including members of local communities will be trained and posted to the centre, and the data recorded will be used to create a dugong conservation database to assist and strengthen law enforcement activities.
National Plans of Action and best practice guidelines for dugong conservation including recommendations for tourism, fishing and other business activities will also be developed to ensure community participation in dugong conservation efforts.
It is hoped that through the engagement of local communities and businesses LK2 will generate greater awareness of the status of the marine environment, the importance of marine biodiversity (including dugongs) to local livelihoods and businesses, and the potential for green jobs and industries to drive sustainable socio-economic development.
- Establish a marine conservation coordination centre, operated by locally recruited officers.
- Develop a communication network including government institutions and local communities.
- Train officers on network maintenance, boating, diving, communication and other necessary skills.
- Develop and finalise best practice guidelines for dugong and seagrass ecosystem conservation with input from other projects in Sri Lanka.
- Develop and maintain a dugong and seagrass conservation database, featuring all available information and conservation guidelines.