Mangrove management in Sri Lanka and stakeholder collaboration: A social network perspective

Thanne WGF Mafaziya Nijamdeen*, Hajaniaina A. Ratsimbazafy, Kodikara Arachchilage Sunanda Kodikara, Thenne Walawe Gedhara Fathima Ashara Nijamdeen, Thajudeen Thahrira, Sofia Peruzzo, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, J.J.A. Hugé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Understanding the extent of collaboration among stakeholders is key to supporting mangrove management. Despite the existence of robust policies, collaboration among stakeholders of mangrove co-management remains largely unexplored in Sri Lanka. This was partly due to the civil war, natural disasters, and other socio-economic changes over the past 30 years. Our study aimed to identify the collaboration between stakeholders of mangrove management and their perceptions regarding mangrove co-management in Sri Lanka using social network analysis and content analysis. Surveys were conducted in all five coastal provinces of Sri Lanka. Stakeholders included in the study were from government departments, non-governmental organizations, and private institutes. Our results showed that there were differences between coastal provinces in the mangrove management networks, specifically in the number of stakeholders involved and their degree of collaboration. Some important stakeholders (for example the Land Use and Policy Planning Department) were excluded from the social networks in certain provinces (Eastern and Western provinces). There were various issues hampering effective mangrove management such as inefficient communication, inconsistencies between policies, and insufficient financial capacity of government stakeholders responsible for policy implementation. According to the stakeholders in our study, providing mangrove management initiatives with long-term collaboration, post-care, continuous monitoring, and funding may help to overcome these challenges. Additionally, we suggest the establishment of a common platform to coordinate stakeholders. We further encourage increasing the participation of academics, researchers, and students from national universities in the mangrove co-management of Sri Lanka. Insights from this island-wide survey can be adapted to mangrove and other natural resource management trajectories in other countries as well.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117116
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume330
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Sri Lanka
  • conservation
  • environmental policy
  • forest management
  • mangrove
  • Environmental policy
  • Conservation
  • Forest management
  • Mangrove restoration
  • Wetland

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