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DateLine Monday, 21 April 2008

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Mangrove project to withstand tsunami

A regional forum under the Mangroves For the Future (MFF) project implemented in six countries in the tsunami aftermath will begin at Hotel Heritance, Ahungalle today.

According to the country office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the five-day forum will present and discuss outcomes of the preliminary programmes carried out in India, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

It will develop a framework for the actions. The IUCN sponsored forum will be attended by representatives from the six countries and resource persons.

Being implemented after the Asian Tsunami in 2004, MFF aims at developing the coastal environment and promoting investment in coastal ecosystem management.

Mangroves would act as a natural barrier against Tsunamis thus would reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities. "The partnership would not only conserve and restore the coastal ecosystem but also would help sustain the lives of coastal communities," an official said.

The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry is also involved in the MFF, she said.

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