Feb 10, 2020

Prioritizing marine conservation: Facts vs fuzz

Prioritizing marine conservation: Facts vs fuzz

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 prioritize 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 Lankas marine biodiversity is increasingly threatened by overfishing, pollution, coastal development and climate change. And while marine conservation is gaining public attention, ground level implementation remains inadequate due to limited capacity both in terms of funding and human resources.

me of the most important marine conservation issues continue to be ignored by both the public and policy makers. 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 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 organization. He currently oversees the coral reef research program 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 both members and non-members, Entrance Free.