Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in January 2019.
Stopping Massive Deforestation in Knuckles World Heritage Cloudforest / Central Highlands World Heritage Site
On January 11, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka together with Hiru CIA exposed a massive deforestation within Knuckles World Heritage Cloudforest. Hundreds of ancient trees were felled and the area clearcut by a Chinese contractor company illegally cutting a 1km road through old-growth forest. Unfortunately, there was not a single Government approving agency monitoring the work until Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka visited and exposed the destruction. Subsequently, the Secretary to Ministry of Environment visited the area and having witnessed the destruction ordered the construction company to halt and restore the area. However, no effort can restore a thousands of years old-growth forest that has been clearcut. Due to our intervention, hundreds of more ancient trees marked to be cut down were saved.
Old-growth giant tree marked to be cut down at Knuckles World Heritage Cloudforest
Continued action against destruction of Core Zone in Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest
Campaign to stop the destruction carried out by Forest Department using JCB machines within core zone of Sinharaja Rainforest to create a road for tourist vehicles which would have a devastating effect on the sensitive ecosystem.
Documentary regarding destruction of Sinharaja together with Oxygen For Future
Please watch below documentary and share to generate awareness.
Stopping Illegal Oil Palm plantation in Wallallawita, Kalutara District
Through continued surveillance, was able to stop an illegal oil palm plantation that was carried out despite Government ban in effect.
Establishing “Wayamba Handa” an organization to deal with environmental issues in Wayamba Province to Address the inaction by Wayamba Environmental authority.
Rakwana Reforestation Project Kickoff 2019
On January 19 and 20, we started our 2019 Rakwana reforestation project to expand the site another 10 acres. During the first few months due to dry weather conditions, we are working on preparing the site through removal of invasive species and creating fire belts to protect the planting area from human induced fire. The project will continue every month therefore please visit our website / update emails for upcoming volunteer dates. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka together with Rotary Club also donated school supplies to village children in the surrounding community.
Action against Koskulana mini-hydro in Northern Boundary of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest
The company involved in the Koskulana mini-hydro destroying the Koskulana river and sensitive ecosystem in the Northern Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest has been engaged in putting political pressure to get approval from Divisional Secretary along with Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) sending threatening letters to Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalawana to ignore the public protest and grant approval to this illegal project. This month, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka met the new Minister of Power & Renewable Energy to explain the ecological issues related to this project and the fact that even at full capacity only 0.015% energy would be provided to the national grid and based on data published by PUCSL, the plant factor of mini-hydros are less than 40%, therefore the energy generated is negligible. Followup letter with data and alternative ecologically sustainable renewable energy options will be provided to the Minister as well as President and Prime Minister this week. Anyone willing to help with this campaign please contact us.