Natural resources and Development in the Northern Province
With 40% of the country’s coastline, the province has immense potential for fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. While the existing marine and lagoon-based fishery industry need to be modernized and reequipped to enable the population to benefit from the rich and under tapped fishing grounds, new aquaculture-based industries could be established to elevate productivity and offer more livelihood options for young people. The main fishery areas are in Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts.
For this purpose the fishery potential, looming threats and important conservation areas (such as sea grass beds and coral reefs) should be surveyed and mapped so that exploitation of the resource is done within the limits of sustainability with adequate emphasis on conservation and protection for future use.
Forests and Wildlife
The North has by far the most extent of dry monsoon forests in any province. The forest cover has remained intact largely despite the conflict and due to lack of development of the province. Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts are extensively forested, while Vavuniya is partially in forest. Jaffna has no significant forest areas.
The important wildlife areas (already gazetted) are Wilpattu north, Madhu road, Giant’s Tank, Chundikulam and Kokilai. But this does not take in to consideration newn biodiversity hotspots and other ecologically important areas (river catchments, salt marshes, lagoons and estuaries, islands, arid zones of Mannaretc).The forest and wildlife reproduce is important as an economic resource for forest products (non –timber) and tourism.
History and Culture