Project Background

The Bolgoda Wetland Complex (BWC) is the largest natural freshwater lake in the country and is a crucial part of the Kalu river basin.This complex is interconnected to with major urban wetlands including Diyawanna, Talangama tank etc.

However, the BWC is facing various threats due to urbanization, and there is a dire need for immediate action to conserve its vital biodiversity and watershed services. In a pilot study undertaken by the Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP)  it was evident that some areas of the Bolgoda wetland have been affected with dumping of industrial effluents and raw sewage which have led to pollution of water. In addition, disposal of solid waste in different forms has also led to serious threats to the survival of this valuable eco-system. The project is an outcome of Sampath Bank identifying the critical need to conserve this valuable natural resource and the Bank’s commitment to conserving the Bolgoda Wetland Ecosystem.

The main objectives of the project; ensure the support all key stakeholders through awareness raising to conserve the Bolgoda wetland and to study and identify the existing threat to the Wetland.

The project was implemented by the Sri Lanka Water Partnership ( SLWP) in collaboration with Biodiversity Sri Lanka

Project Activities

Phase- 1

Awareness raising and policy dialogue through Workshops/seminars involving Govt, local Govt and community organisations with the intention of;

  • Creating a platform to bring all stakeholders to share views, ideas and learn from each other and creating a network
  • Discussing the situation of urban wetlands, report present status and discuss steps to be taken for conservation
  • Identifying the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder
  • Preparing and agreeing upon the activities to follow up and finalise a work plan for conservation
  • Influencing policy makers on the importance of preserving the wetland

Phase- 2

Field Study on Conservation of Bolgoda wetland complex entailing:

  • Identifying in preliminary survey areas of the BWC predominantly under threat From human activities such as pollution, garbage disposal, illegal encroachments and habitat destruction/ alternations
  • Investigations on biodiversity
  • Development of a Vulnerability Index for different areas of the wetland to determine the extent of environmental degradation

Key Outcomes

  • Awareness raising programmes were held in 3 selected schools in the area for which more than 300 students from inhabitant families participated.
  • A biodiversity assessment and vulnerability survey was carried out in selected locations in the wetland
  • 153 faunal species in the North Lake and 163 faunal species in the South Lake recorded
  • 107 floral species in the North Lake and 57 floral species in the South Lake recorded.
  • Results of the vulnerability survey revealed that 80 % of the sites studied in the North Lake were vulnerable to pollution, habitat loss and degradation whereas in the South part it was only 20%.

Project initiated in: 2015

Status: Completed