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SLT-MOBITEL unveils 2024 Calendar with spotlight on mangrove ecosystem.

Reinforcing a commitment to environmental conservation, SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider, proudly unveiled its much-anticipated 2024 calendar themed ‘The Mangrove Ecosystems in Sri Lanka’. The calendar celebrates the beauty and invaluable ecological significance of the country's vital mangrove ecosystems and the intrinsic value of the country’s natural heritage.

As mangrove ecosystems disappear rapidly across the globe, SLT-MOBITEL has carefully chosen its 2024 calendar theme to highlight the mangroves’ unique biodiversity and climate resilience capacity for Sri Lanka and to positively influence attitudes towards safeguarding the country’s remaining mangrove cover while creating public awareness on responsible preservation.

Prabhath Dahanayake, Chief Marketing Officer, SLT said, “As pioneers of accelerating the nation’s digital transformation, SLT-MOBITEL recognizes its responsibility surpasses business goals. We have highlighted the mangroves ecosystem in our annual 2024 Calendar to create awareness on sustainability and initiative a dialogue for action. We believe mangroves represent a delicate balance of livelihoods and climate resiliency similar, to our robust networks and innovative solutions that aims to uplift society. As a purpose-driven national brand, SLT-MOBITEL commits to inspiring environmental consciousness and safeguard the natural interconnected systems for future generations.”

The calendar features 12 stunning paintings, each depicting a different aspect of the mangrove ecosystem in Sri Lanka. The interconnectedness of life within the mangrove ecosystems is beautifully portrayed by the calendar's talented artists, Pulasthi Ediriweera, Parami Vidyarathna, and Piumi Maheshika. They have used their creative talents to capture the beauty and diversity of the mangroves.

Professor Sevvandi Jayakody, the Chairperson of the National Mangrove Expert Committee and the Chair Professor of the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, served as the Resource Person for the calendar, offering valuable advice.  

Prof. Sevvandi Jayakody stated, “As the Champion to Commonwealth Blue Charter’s forum on ‘Mangrove Ecosystems, Livelihoods Action Group’, Sri Lanka has taken very positive steps in both conserving, restoring and creating public awareness about mangroves. However, we are dealing with a very fragile ecosystem that we have ignored and treated very badly for many decades. Therefore, love and care from everyone is essential at this hour. It is our best effort to safeguard our island nation and her assets.”

Sri Lanka is home to 21 true mangrove species, each uniquely adapted to specific habitats along the island's coastal wetlands. In total, approximately 19,000 hectares of Sri Lanka's shoreline are blanketed by remarkable mangrove species and their associated plants.

Mangroves are considered ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems because they store carbon not only in their aboveground biomass but also in their extensive root systems and surrounding sediment. The soils in mangrove areas can store large amounts of carbon for long periods, contributing to long-term carbon storage. This is important in the context of mitigating climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

While mangroves are exceptional carbon sinks, comparisons with other forest types depend on specific factors such as the type of trees, environmental conditions, and land-use history. In certain cases, mangroves may sequester carbon more rapidly than certain terrestrial forests

Importantly, for Sri Lanka, the mangroves sustain coastal communities by providing food, fuel, timber, and medicinal resources, in addition to creating fertile fishing grounds. The resilient plants mitigate natural disasters as natural seawalls, curb erosion by trapping sediments, and nourish adjoining ecosystems with recycled nutrients. Their unparalleled beauty also attracts tourists, as it provides a connection to nature.

For 18 years, SLT-MOBITEL, through the annual calendar, has captured the essence of Sri Lankan nature and culture and showcased themes reflecting the country’s beautiful natural abundance. In the aesthetically appealing 2024 calendar, SLT-MOBITEL aims to provide an inspirational visual story, sparking positive environmental actions towards a sustainable future. Thus, the calendar serves as a call to action by SLT-MOBITEL, encouraging citizens to pledge to protect the invaluable ecosystem for future generations.