Joint research collaboration for the blue carbon ecosystem management

Joint research collaboration for the blue carbon ecosystem management in Sri Lanka has been initiated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment as a follow up action of the "Indian Ocean Conference on Blue Carbon" held in Perth, Australia from 19-23 March 2018. Blue carbon ecosystems comprise mainly the mangroves, tidal / salt marshes, sea grass ecosystems etc., and the green house gas absorption ability of those are up to four times higher than terrestrial forests. Except the carbon sequestration ability, these vital ecosystems are home to numerous plant and animal species, important for coastal stability and provide many more ecosystem services. Therefore, identifying the country's blue carbon ecosystems and conservation and restoration of them are crucial. Under the purview of this programme, National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency (NARA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia entered into contract as the signatories of the Letter of Intent (LOI) on 5th September 2018 to encourage collaboration in areas of mutual interest. Further the possibility on collaboration of other fields in aquatic sector also would be considered.  Mr.Jayantha Wijeratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, Mr.S.N.B.K.S.Senaratne, additional secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries &Aquatic Resources and Rural Economy, Mr.Wasantha Dissanayake, Additional Secretary (Environmental      Policy and Planning), Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Prof. Daya Edirisingha, Chairman , NARA,  Mr. Buddhika Iddamalgoda, Director General NARA, Dr.H.M.P.Kithsiri , Deputy Director General, Research and Development, NARA, Officials from CSIRO, Australia,  Officials form  MFR and other related organizations  and Scientists of NARA  participated at the this imperative event.