Monthly Archives: January 2019

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – January 2019

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRY_AeSngwE&t=33s50301923_10218721930783397_1498080435316457472_n

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.

https://www.facebook.com/RainforestProtectors/posts/2318520611494504

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.

https://www.facebook.com/RainforestProtectors/posts/2349233481756550

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.

Everyone needs to take some responsibility and join together to stop the ongoing massive destruction of our forests, rivers, streams, waterfalls and the pollution of air and water. If you can help, please call 0777771348 or email RainforestProtectors@gmail.com

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka

Web: http://www.RainforestProtectors.org

Donate: http://www.rainforestprotectors.org/rainforest/Donate.aspx

Hundreds of Giant Trees Felled in Knuckles, Central Highlands World Heritage Cloudforest

January 20, 2019 – Hundreds of ancient giant trees have been felled and more marked for cutting down by a Chinese contractor company in Knuckles Cloudforest within Central Highlands World Heritage Site causing severe ecological damage. While the Sri Lankan Government has given approval to construct a 1.8km road and a large bridge, the construction company has instead felled massive trees to create a longer road through the forest with a small bridge to gain maximum profit. Upon exposing the issue through media by Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka and Hiru CIA, a field visit was done by authorities at Ministry of Environment who themselves witnessed the massive damage. While the authorities have asked the company to plant twice the amount of trees cut down, no replanting can restore the amount of damage caused, where trees take thousands of years to mature and create the thriving ecosystem. Further, a mature forest has hundreds of thousands of different flora species which cannot be matched by planting a handful of different types of trees which may not even be native to the area. 

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka urges all authorities who have a responsibility to protect the country’s forests, fresh water sources and wildlife, to ensure proper monitoring is done for approved projects instead of relying on volunteer driven environmental organizations to report the destruction and violations. Further, we ask the Minister of Environment, President Maithripala Sirisena to keep his campaign promise and take immediate action against the release of protected forest lands to both local and foreign companies.

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka

http://www.RainforestProtectors.org