United Nations
Protection of Marine and Coastal Resources
by Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka (Government)
Sri Lanka is situated between 5 55 and 9 51 North Latitude and 79 41 and 81 54 East Longitude. above the equator. The land area of Sri Lanka is 65,000 sq km with a coastline of 1620 km. The land between the coast and the central highlands has many variations from flat areas to many peaks and hills. One hundred and three rivers provide drainage from the central highlands to the coast. The coastal and marine environment in Sri Lanka has lagoons, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass meadows. Sri Lanka has several marine protected areas. All are under the Fauna and Flora Ordinance. There are 03 marine national parks, 03 marine sanctuaries, 01 Nature Reserve. In addition there are several terrestrial protected areas that have seaward margins up to the high water mark on the beach. Sri Lanka intends to increase the marine protected areas and better manage the existing marine protected areas.

a. Adopt a spatial planning approach to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with multi-sector and multi-stakeholder support
b. Increase the marine protected area
c. Develop stakeholder agency capacity and others to implement the MPA plan, monitor and sustainably use the MPAs
d. Continuous data collection for adaptive management

a. Form a multi-agency group to develop the spatial approach to sustainably manage the MPAs including the Expanded Economic Zone (EEZ) of Sri Lanka
b. Develop a plan with multi-stakeholder participation towards upgrading existing MPAs, delineating new and also highlight potential transboundary issues and adopt approaches to resolve them
c. Convert the same group as the national coordination group facilitated by the DWC Marine Unit
d. Review and update policies and regulations to facilitate the implementation of the MPA conservation and management plan/s
e. Develop the IT platform to support landscape/seascape spatial planning and operationalize the data/map system to support monitoring and updates
f. Awareness, education and training on the use of the information and incorporate the subject to national educational curricula

Follow-up actions

a. Extensive coordination by the DWC Marine Unit
b. High level technical support to DWC Marine Unit
c. Ensure continuous support for data generation systems and monitoring
d. Ensure data is made available to key stakeholders including private sector
e. Ensure that decisions are based on scientific information generated by the system

Governance mechanims
a. Institutional mandates of DWC and others
b. International conventions

Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism led by DWC marine unit with active participation by stakeholder entities
IT platform to facilitate information collection and dissemination
Upgrading and expansion, preparation of management plans for existing Marine Protected Areas available
Increase marine protected area coverage by an additional 1000 km2 including 15 shipwrecks
Other, please specify
Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Susutainable Development and Wildlife, other government organisations
Other, please specify
Global Environmental Facility, world Bank, Asian Development Bank, SAARC, Bilateral funding
Staff / Technical expertise
IUCN, Department of wildlife Conservation, individual experts
Other, please specify
National budget from the Ministry of Finance, Private sector involvement
Basic information
Time-frame: 2018 - 2020
Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development (Government), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Government), Ministry of Science and Technology (Government), Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife (Government), Ministry of Education (Government), Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Government), Information and Communication Technology Agency (Government), Marine Environment Protection Authority (Government), Department of Wildlife Conservation (Government), National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (Government), Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department (Government), National Land Use Policy Planning Department (Government), National Physical Planning Department (Government), Ministry of Education (Government), Central Environmental Authority, Disaster Management Centre (Government), Forest Department (Government), International Union for Conservation of Nature (Quasi governmental organisation)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Sri Lanka
Other beneficaries
Contact information
W. Sarath Kumarasinghe Pathirathna, Director General, dg@dwc.gov.lk, +94 11 2888581
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Other SDGs
United Nations