WNPS Monthly Lecture, Solutions for Wetland Pollution and Abuse, will be delivered by Prof. J.M.P.K. Jayasinghe on February 15 at 6 pm, at the BMICH.
Wetlands are the areas of land that is permanently or seasonally inundated with fresh, brackish, or saline water and comprises a range of plant and animal species that are adapted to the degree of inundation, the type of water that is present, as well as the soil conditions.
Flood storage, sediment control, water quality improvement, preventing shoreline erosion and protection, providing habitats for plants, fish and wildlife, acting as Biodiversity Reservoirs, serving as breeding, nursery and feeding grounds for aquatic organisms are some of the main ecological functions. Human-Use Values include flood protection, storm Protection, nutrient transformation, removal and storage, non-consumptive recreation, commercial Fishery and aquaculture.
Reclamation of wetlands for other uses without understanding of the functioning of coastal ecosystems and the ecological services that they provide, have resulted in environmental degradation, pollution, depletion of natural resources, reduction in biodiversity, and social conflicts depriving communities of their access and traditional sustainable resource extraction patterns.
Coastal wetlands with mangroves, mangrove associates, saltmarshes, mudflats, seagrass beds, are the most threatened wetland areas in Sri Lanka due to high land demand for urbanisation, agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, salterns and other industrial development.
Rapid expansion in coastal aquaculture poses the bigegst threat to wetlands reducing the area of sensitive ecosystems and releasing partially treated effluents to lagoons, estuaries and near shore coastal areas.
Prof. J.M.P.K. Jayasinghe is an accomplished biologist, holding a PhD in coastal aquaculture from the University of Stirling, UK.
The WNPS Monthly Lecture is supported by the Nations Trust Bank and is open to the public.