Giving Legal Status to the Mattegoda and Polgasowita Wetlands as Protected Areas
Giving Legal Status to the Mattegoda and Polgasowita Wetlands as Protected Areas
These wetlands are situated in an area which is fast developing and as a result face the threat of being lost or seriously degraded. Competition for land and water, encroachments and demographic changes are some of the main threats to the health of these wetlands. They are of immense value in the locality and serve as catchment and flood control areas; help climate cooling; provide water for agriculture and other ecosystem services; harbor high biodiversity and are of aesthetic value.

The purpose of implementing this project is to conserve and protect the Mattegoda Wewa and the adjacent wetlands by working towards giving it legal status.

The outputs of the project are as follows:
(1) Mapping the Mattegoda Wewa and adjacent wetlands; carrying out a legal review and baseline for same;
(2) Listing of biodiversity in the Mattegoda Wewa and adjacent wetlands;
(3) Identifying encroachment issues in relation to the said wetlands; and
(4) Establishing a community group(s) to participate in conservation of the selected site
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Project Snapshot

Public Interest Law Foundation
Sri lanka
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
OP6 - Y3 (Jul17 - Jun 18)
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 8,711.17
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Communication and public awareness strategy will include sharing information through the following: Social media; newspaper articles; progress reports; email networks; awareness creation at the Focus Group Discussions and meetings with community around the sites.
Gender Focus
Community Involvement (both men and women) in Project Planning and Design: At the project planning and conceptualization stage PILF spoke with both men and women in and around these sites. PILF also met with community members of the Mattegoda Wetland Management Committee, explained the project concept to them and obtained their ideas on the use of water for agriculture, extraction of natural resources and the value of these sites. Community Participation during Project Implementation: Community participation (both men and women) during implementation will be obtained in the following manner: ? Three Focus Group Discussions will be held with communities (men, women and youth) around the sites to obtain required information on encroachments, biodiversity etc. and to create awareness on the importance of protecting the Mattegoda Wewa, the wetland system in the area, and the sustainable use of natural resources. Further, views and suggestions of communities on how they can actively contribute and participate in the management and conservation of the sites will be discussed. ? PILF will work with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to establish an Environmental Committee or Community Group (including youth and women) to protect the Mattegoda Wewa and adjacent Wetlands. Issues in relation to giving these two sites legal status will be discussed with this group. It is envisaged that the CEA will register and integrate this group into their on-going system of Environmental Committees. ? PILF will also work with the CEA to extend their Environmental Pioneer Programme into schools in the two selected sites, and brief the schools on the importance of protecting these sites and other wetlands in Colombo. Community Participation in Monitoring and Evaluation: Community members i.e. men, women and youth participating in the Focus Group Discussions will be requested to review the discussions at the end of each workshop. The Environmental Committee or Community Group set up for the protection of the site will keep records of their meetings and progress. They will be encouraged to report to PILF on encroachments and other illegal activities pertaining to these sites. Benefits to men and women: The implementation of this project and reaching its goals will result in a number of community benefits to both men and women, such as - ? Sustaining the Flood Retention Capacity of the entire area and reduction/prevention of floods. This is an important aspect at the national level as well for the Colombo District. ? Maintaining the water quality of the wetlands benefitting agriculture and other uses. ? Sustaining and maintaining livelihoods (agriculture, fishing and collection of Olu/Nelum leaves), access to natural resources (medicinal plants etc.). ? Climate cooling and regulation of pests. ? Conservation and sustenance of the aesthetic beauty of the Lake and Wetlands; encouraging nature trails and study; conserving the rich biodiversity within and around urban areas; bird watching etc.
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Grantee Contact

Ms Sonali De Silva


2nd Floor, Vidya Mandhiraya, No 120/10, Wijerama Mw
Colombo 7 ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Dinali Jayasinghe
Nuwan Perera


UNDP, 202-204, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, P.O. Box 1505
Colombo 7