Let's Find Colombo Wetlands Here!

Colombo Wetlands

Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka and its economic, political, and cultural focal point. Since October 2018, it is the only Wetland City under the Ramsar Convention in South Asia. The Colombo wetlands are considered as an important ecosystems located inside the city of Colombo for hydrological, ecological and economic functions. Therefore protecting these ecosystems is highly important for the urban biodiversity conservation. These wetlands have been identified as important habitats for fishing cat, which is a vulnerable species recorded in Sri Lanka. They provide valuable habitats for other fauna species including freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, Odonates, butterflies and small mammals. These wetlands are valuable breeding habitats which provide foraging and roosting cover especially for native and migratory water birds.

Majority of the highly populated cities in the world, including Colombo, are located near the coast. These cities depend on wetlands not only for the aesthetic value but also for urban flood control and storm-water management in the face of increasing sea levels and climate change. Urban wetlands are important not just as animal habitats, nature parks, or spaces located inside a city. They are part of urban infrastructure and just as important as streets or water pipes. Despite existing efforts, Colombo loses around 1.2% of its wetlands every year. The main reasons for this are solid waste dumping, untreated domestic wastewater, invasive species, Eutrophication and unsystematic land filling.
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What are Wetlands?

Wetlands are where land meets water which are crucial for protecting our environment either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. Wetlands are found across the world, ranging from giant deltas, mighty estuaries and mudflats to floodplains and peatlands. 40% of the world’s wildlife relies on Freshwater Wetlands. Wetlands lands do not drain well. The ground in a wetland is saturated, or full of water. Often the ground is covered with shallow water.

Wetlands are usually classified as swamps, marshes, or bogs. The different types of wetlands have different kinds of soil and plants. Both swamps and marshes have soils that contain many minerals. They differ in their plant life. Most of the plants in swamps are trees, but marshes have grassy plants. Bogs differ from swamps and marshes because their soil has few minerals. Only mosses and a few other types of plants can grow in bogs. Wetlands play a major role in the environment. They are home to a great variety of plants and animals. A wetland system can also protect shorelines, cleanse polluted waters, prevent floods, and restore underground water supplies.

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Purpose of this website

By educating children on the importance of wetlands, how fascinating they are, and how wetlands should be protected, it is expected that they work to protect them from their early age. As we believe, that is what’s needed to raise the awareness among the nation as a long-term plan. It is expected to promote co-existence of urban dwellers and urban wildlife for wise use of urban wetlands in a RAMSAR Wetland City. This will also enhance kid’s attraction to make them more interested about nature and urban wetlands.

This is also great destination to gain a basic knowledge about various plant and animal species that live in Colombo wetlands. This is designed in such a way that kids who live in the city who are accustomed to urban life to enjoy the beauty of urban wetlands and develop their interest about the beauty of Nature and gain an adequate knowledge about the natural environment.

Our educational goal at Center for Sustainability is to accommodate the full range of learning abilities, attention spans, cultures, and ages through rigorous science in the outdoors. We challenge students to use their creative and critical higher order thinking skills, instill an intense interest in science and nature, and inspire all participants to be life-long learners.

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