MFF Regional Forum 21-24 April, Sri Lanka
Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a unique multi-partner initiative to strengthen environmental sustainability of coastal development, and to promote investment in coastal ecosystems. MFF inaugurated its first Regional Review Forum on the 21st of April 2008, at the Heritance Hotel, Ahungalla, Sri Lanka. The Forum is a four day event hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MOENR), Sri Lanka which brought together 60 participants including MFF partners, focal points, country representatives and international and regional technical expertise to review progress in detail of each MFF programme of work.
The inauguration session was opened by lighting the traditional oil lamp followed by brief welcome remarks from Dr. Ranjith Mahindapala, Country Representative, IUCN Sri Lanka. The session was chaired by Mr. A. Sumanadasa, Additional Secretary MOENR representing the Secretary of the MOENR. Associated with him was Mr. W.R.M.S Wickramasinghe, Additional Secretary, MOENR and the two MFF Regional Steering Committee co-chairs, Ms Marcia Kran, Head of Policy and Programmes and Officer in Charge, UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok, Ms Aban Marker Kabarji, Regional Director, IUCN Asia and Dr. Donald Macintosh, MFF Coordinator.
This Review Forum marks the end of the inception phase and the beginning of the MFF implementation phase. Both MFF Steering Committee co-chairs emphasized the importance of this period paving the way for the next phase. Ms Kabraji, also explained the history and cultural heritage of the area and the rationale for choosing Sri Lanka as the host country of this event.
MFF is led by IUCN and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). MFF is a regional initiative that focuses on India, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It recognizes coastal ecosystems as rich assets vital for human society that must be restored, protected and invested in. MFF adopts a new approach by promoting partnerships to stimulate investment, to move from reactive responses to proactive activities. These activities include raising awareness and capacity for secured livelihoods, disaster preparedness and resilience building, as well as climate change adaptation measures.
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