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Nagenahiru Environmental Education Centre

Nagenahiru Environmental Education Centre

Name of organisation: Nagenahiru Foundation

Funding support: Global Nature Fund (Germany)

Number of staff: 10

Number of visitors per year: 5,000

Overall aims of the centre

a.         Encourage, promote and implement educational, training and    action programs to develop and strengthen the positive attitude on Protecting Rich Biological Diversity and Values of Different Ecosystems.

b.         Sharing of experience, Knowledge and Available resources as   far as possible with other relevant organizations home and abroad.

c.         Promote volunteerism among the different sectors of the community through local & international volunteer placement programs.

d.         Development of sustainable linkages among interested individuals and institutions engaged in conservation of threaten ecosystems through out the world.

Description of the centre
The Nagenahiru Center for Environmental Education is located on  the Eastern Border of the Madampa Lake Wild Life Santuary at the  south-western coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. This region is one of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes in Sri Lanka with a unique biodiversity including different vegetation types such as the predominating mangroves and marshlands. The Madampa wetland consists of 10 major vegetation types. These vegetation types comprise a total of 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families. The total plant species included 19 endemic and nationally threatened species and 9 invasive alien species. Examples of endangered plants are a dominant canopy plant Shorea affinis.

Due to the broad variety of plants, a large number of invertebrates, reptiles, including snakes, birds, amphibians, and mammals can be found around Lake Madampa Ganga. Whereas the Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) is considered to be vulnerable and the purple-faced Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus vetulus) endangered other reptiles such as the estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata), Indian Python (Python molurus) are not considered in the red list yet.

Large number of fauna species are available at this newly declared Wild Life Sanctuary Madampa Lake. (Monkeys, Bat Hooting sites, Civet & Mongoose, River otters, Iguanas, Lizards, Crabs, Crocodiles,  Snakes, many types of Birds, Butterflies & much more.) The mangroves are a very amazing area to explore with their incredible root systems that grow above the water and spread out, and act as a filter for water as well as home to many types of animals and insects.

Nagenahiru Center for Environment advances Environmental Awareness, Knowledge & Appreciation through hands-on experience in a Natural Outdoor classroom.  Surrounded by thousands of acres of constructed wetlands with high bio diversity, it provides Educational opportunities about this unique habitat. The wetland features elevated boardwalks through Mangroves, featuring interpretive signs about the habitat, a perfect place for learning, exploring, getting away and connecting.

The newly built Nature Center includes a Lecture hall with facilities for 40, Gift shop, Brackish water Aquarium, 65ft height observation Tower Models of severely threatened wetland animals, and an extensive exhibition room that highlights wetland attributes.

Activities include: canoeing in the lake; learning to paddle; fishing with fishermen; eco-camping in a Mangrove forest; up-stream the lake by traditional catamaran/boat through mangrove tunnels; enhancing awareness on Wetland Flora & Fauna; planting few mangrove plants in a restoration project.

Main CEPA work areas

Environment Educational Actvites,  Printing and publishing Educational meterias on  Environmental Issues, Formation and strenghten of Communty net works among  wetland users. Conducting communty awareness programmes on Wetland Protection & conservation. Facilitating the Law enforcement jointly with the participation of Government Law enforcing Authority.

Top three successes

1. Environmental Education programmes
2. Rehabilitation of degrated coastal wetlands
3. Restoration of Mangrove Ecosystem at Madampa Lake wetland system.
Community gain knowledge on the values and importance of the wetlands due to the Educational workshops conducted by the Nagenahiru Center for Environmental Education.  Due to this enhancment of awareness and knowledge public actvly engage in the wetland trehabiltation actvites of their surrounding wetlands

Top three challenges

1.  Poor transfer of International experience & knowledge
2.  Funding restrictions
3.  Difficulties in Developing Community attititude

Other
Nagenahiru Center for Environmental Education received the  National Award for Environmental Education in 2009 which was organized by the Ministry of Environment  – Sri Lanka
In the year 2008  the  sustainable actvities of Nagenahiru Foundation was recognized by the International communty by  offering  One World  International Award for Sustaibale Development, organized by the  International Federation for Organic Agriculture based in Germany.

Interpretation techniques

Site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Setting up a new visitor centre;  Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre;  Building / maintaining structures

Participation

Engaging young people; Engaging the local community;

Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Delivering adult education; Working with secondary schools;  Developing resources / materials

General

PR and marketing; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning

Nagenahiru Foundation, No;  4/11,  Patabendimulla, Ambalangoda – Sri Lanka, Phone  ;  0094  77  6209625, email:  nagenahiru@sltnet.lk

Website address: www.nagenahiru.org 

The WLI network is endorsed by the Ramsar Convention on wetlands and coordinated by WWT.

Contact

Wetland Link International
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT, UK
T: +44 (0) 1453 891214
E: info@wli.org.uk Twitter: @wetlandlink