Sri Jayawaradenepura Kotte, Sri Lanka
City population: 115826
Duration: 2013 – 2021
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 180000 m2
Type of area: Protected Area, Natural Heritage Area
Last updated: April 2022

The Beddagana Wetland Park is located in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, Sri Lanka's administrative capital. The wetland park plays an important role in flood regulation and keeping the city cool during periods of extreme heat. The city is located in the Colombo district and the project contributes to the flood management goals of the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP). It demonstrates how a wetland can be preserved while promoting eco-tourism and improved livability in the city. The target area is located within the Sri Jayewardenapura-Kotte municipality and is a part of Parliament Lake. While focusing on the protection of the wetland habitat as a flood-retention area, the project also supports selecting investments aimed at the protection and landscaping of key areas within the target area to improve livability for local people living in and around the area, while providing access to much-needed recreational space. [2, 7]

Beddagana Wetland Park
Andrina Fernando/World Bank

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Blue infrastructure
  • Wetlands/bogs/fens/marshes
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Flood protection
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Tourism support
  • Employment/job creation

Focus

Maintenance and management of urban nature, Protection of natural ecosystems, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

The main objective was to ensure the protection of the Beddagana Wetland sanctuary and Kotte Ramparts from future encroachments and enable it to function as a flood-retention area for the city, including the protection of the historic areas in close proximity to the sanctuary, whilst to provide recreational space and ecotourism opportunities. Other goals include: 1. To protect flora and fauna in the area. 2. To control the flooding that occurs from any overflows from the Diyawanna Lake. 3. To control the micro-climate of the area by cooling effect and carbon sequestration. 4. To protect the city’s natural capital against heightened risks of climate change-induced disaster. [1, 3, 4, 7]

Implementation activities

Interventions included (i) enhancing the hydrology of the wetland area by cleaning existing canals to reduce the risk of floods in the Sri Jayewardenapura-Kotte area; (ii) reforestation of areas that have been deforested with endemic plants to enhance bird habitats; (iii) provision of bird-watching hides, towers, boardwalks, nature trails, and orientation centre to create awareness about the sanctuary to visitors; (iv) provision of play areas at the boundary of the wetland sanctuary along with a 2.2 km jogging track with lighting for recreational use for residents in the municipality; and (v) minimal intervention to improve existing bund road. Soft landscaping of the area and removal of invasive plant species. Interventions had minimal impact and used resources that are environmentally friendly to maintain the natural landscape and vegetation of the area. [1, 7]

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Create or improve outdoor spaces to help people escape from urban heat
  • Restore wetlands and/or coastal ecosystems to dissipate the effects of flooding and/or storms

Climate change mitigation:

  • Increase green urban nature for carbon storage (wetlands, tree cover)
  • Raise public awareness of behaviours, lifestyle and cultural changes with mitigation potential

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Create new habitats
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect native species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect valued species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Public engagement
  • Create and use scientific knowledge for conservation

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children

Governance

Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Regional government

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The project is completely government-led and fits the goals of Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP). [1]

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (The Government of Sri Lanka has developed a Wetland Management Strategy in partnership with the World Bank. [6])
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP) [1])

Financing

Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Multilateral funds (e.g. EBRD, Worldbank)

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy
  • Loan

Non-financial contribution

Unknown

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Strengthened capacity to address climate hazards/natural disasters
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increase in protected green space areas
  • Increased number of protection areas
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased protection of threatened species
  • Improved prevention or control of invasive alien species

Economic impacts

  • Increase of jobs
  • More sustainable tourism
  • Reduce financial cost for urban management
  • Generation of income from NBS

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Safety
  • Improved community safety to climate-related hazards
  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits
  • Other

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Yes

Presence of indicators used in reporting

Yes

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

Yes

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No

References

Information about this nature-based solution was collected as part of the UNA global extension project funded by the British Academy.