Samara Polwatta is pursuing a Joint Master’s at the University of Bonn and United Nations University institute for Environment and Human Security. This field has allowed her to understand human and environmental security and to how to engage in humanitarian relief, disaster risk management, ecosystem-based adaptation, and conservation. She is currently writing her master thesis on the topic of coral reef ecosystems as a tool for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. She also works as a Junior Consultant at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Integration team on data curation and data management related to SDG tracking within the GeoHub.
About the project: “School Meets the Reef” aims to grow the value of coastal ecosystems through coral reef restoration and by building awareness of coastal ecosystems. The project was established to fulfill the urgent need for restoration in Sri Lanka’s coral reefs and works primarily in Kalkudah, Batticaloa district. It aims to build artificial in situ coral reef nurseries and carry out monitoring and evaluation on the restored reefs and nurseries. The project is also guided by a strong educational focus, working with local schools to build awareness of the importance of coastal ecosystems, restoration methods and nature-based solutions around coastal ecosystems.