November 20, 2019
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    US$ 19.3M Project to Conserve Kalpitiya Bar Reef Featured

    June 06, 2019

    The conservation of the ‘Bar Reef’ located off the coast of Kalpitiya is a US$ 19.3 million project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States (US)-based Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). The six-year project will be end in 2021.

    When the UNDP came to its aid, the reef was almost completely destroyed with only about 6 per cent of it left alive, the UNDP in a publication released on 4 June said.The UNDP further said that the Kalpitiya Bar Reef (KBR) is the most bio-diverse coral formation in Sri Lanka, home to 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish, which survival is at stake due to human intervention.
    The Bar Reef, located two kilometres off the coast of Kalpitiya, is also the largest coral reef and the largest protected marine area in Sri Lanka. It has previously survived two major bleaching events, poor fishing practices, pollution, and natural disasters, and is still one of Sri Lanka’s most valuable natural resources, the UNDP said. With the reef at the centre of a conservation effort through sustainable development and community participation, perhaps it can finally be restored to its former glory, the UNDP said.
    What’s more, a community effort with support from various national and international organisations is underway to help save it before it is too late, the UNDP said. Fishermen are ordered to stay away from the area, and its protection was reinforced by the Navy, Police, and the Divisional Secretary who do not allow anyone to cross those waters, the UNDP said

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