Mothers of Nature: The Sri Lankan Women Saving the Planet

Mothers of Nature: The Sri Lankan Women Saving the Planet

incredible women featured in this album represent the 15,000
guardians of Sri
‘s mangrove forests, on which huge numbers of plant and
animal species depend for survival.

Since many such women are widows of the country’s 25-year civil
war or the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, they are often
the sole provider for their families. Others have suffered domestic
violence, abuse and extreme poverty.

As part of the Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation
, NGO Sudeesa and conservation organisation Seacology
have collaborated to grant such women micro-loans to set up
businesses. In return the women take part in courses that teach the
importance of the forests’ ecosystems, how to protect them and how
to further educate their communities on the subject.

In the last century over 80 per cent of Sri Lanka’s forests have
been lost to due to bombing, firewood collection and large-scale,
commercial shrimp farming that readily consumes the land. By
comparison, 50 per cent of mangrove forests have been lost globally
in the same period.

In 2018 the UN’s landmark climate change report estimated that
we have just 12 years to limit global warming before the threats of
drought, flooding, extreme heat and poverty become a reality for
hundreds of millions of people.

As mangrove forests sequester between three and five times more
carbon than other tropical habitats, Sudeesa and Seacology’s model
of empowerment, protection and nurture is one that could be applied
across other regions in a bid to help save our planet.

Each of the women featured here has a story – sometimes
heartbreaking, often inspiring and always growing.

In light of recent events, this photo journal is dedicated
to the people of Sri Lanka.

@scottmsaltphoto |

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