Sri Lanka’s post-conflict development drive has recently put the island’s many lagoons under its searchlight.  For most of them, their status as biological, ecological and economic entities has remained largely unknown.  Negombo Lagoon is one of the exceptions; a highly successful fisheries hub which has seen more research than most.  But exploitation of its growing values and services are already hurting the very ecosystem that provides them.  A major IWMI project looks at how extractive and destructive human activities have impacted these poorly understood environments. The message is clear: hurt natural resources, hurt ourselves. Balancing economic development with sustainable practices and goals is key to long term gains.
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by Dharshani Weerasekera

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Dharshani Weerasekera is an independent writer.

Photos by Saaliya Thilakarathna