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Monday, 10 February 2020 04:02

Facts vs. fuzz in prioritising marine conservation

The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) monthly lecture titled “Prioritising Marine Conservation: Facts vs. Fuzz” will be delivered by Nishan Perera on 20 February from 6 p.m. onwards at the Jasmine Hall, BMICH.

What drives our conservation instinct? Why are we drawn towards certain species and ecosystems? Are we focusing on the most pressing issues and practical solutions? Can we prioritise conservation issues based on science, while using charismatic species?

Sri Lanka has a high diversity of marine and coastal ecosystems, fauna and flora, and a rich history of marine research and exploration. However, Sri Lanka’s marine biodiversity is increasingly threatened by overfishing, pollution, coastal development, and climate change. While marine conservation is gaining public attention, ground-level implementation remains inadequate due to the limited capacity, both in terms of funding and human resources. Some of the most important marine conservation issues continue to be ignored by both the public and policymakers. Using charismatic species as drivers of ecosystem-based management has had success in many countries, both for marine and terrestrial species, by bridging the gap between science and human attachment to popular, pretty, and charismatic species. The talk will explore these issues through examples from Sri Lanka and around the world, highlighting conservation priorities, challenges, and success stories.

Nishan Perera
Nishan is a marine biologist with an interest in coral reef ecology, fisheries, and marine protected area management with work experience in Sri Lanka and internationally. He is a Co-founder of Blue Resources Trust, a Sri Lankan marine research and conservation organisation. He currently oversees the coral reef research programme at Blue Resources Trust and is conducting research on coral reef resilience, reef fish distribution, and sustainable small-scale fisheries. Nishan is also an underwater photographer, and his work has been featured in several local and international publications.

The WNPS public lecture is open to both members and non-members. Entrance is free.