Coinciding with the World Oceans Day, the Sri Lanka Navy on 08th June 2023 launched a mangrove planting initiative in the lagoon area of Panama in the Southeastern Naval Command. The event was held under the patronage of Deputy Area Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Commodore Ruwan Rupasena. The World Oceans Day of this year was celebrated (08th June), on the theme ‘Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing’.

Following the directives of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the Sri Lanka Navy is actively involved in planting mangroves in estuaries, lagoons, and rivers as part of its ongoing mangrove conservation project across all naval commands. The recent initiative was yet another milestone of the timely project, organised by the Southeastern Naval Command.

The mangrove ecosystem plays a significant role in safeguarding the biodiversity of the coastal ecosystem. The distinct ecosystem serves as a fertile habitat for a wide variety of fish species, offering significant benefits to the fishing community as well. Additionally, the ability of mangroves to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases highlights the importance of preserving and expanding these habitats in effectively mitigating global warming in the long run.

The mangrove ecosystem also plays an essential role in limiting the waste that finds its way into our precious oceans. They also stand against the relentless forces of erosion, safeguarding the coastal environment in lagoons, rivers, and estuaries. Moreover, mangroves can even contribute to air purification, ensuring mankind can breathe in fresh and clean air. Realizing the immense value of these guardians of our coastal belt, the Sri Lanka Navy often throws its weight behind initiatives that are set in motion to protect the mangrove ecosystem.

A group of senior and junior officers and sailors from the Southeastern Naval Command actively took part in this mangrove planting efforts.