Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in May/June 2019.
Action against encroachment and destruction of Northern Sinharaja boundary
During the last 2 years, encroachment and destruction of the Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest has significantly increased along its northern border by expanding tea plantations, construction of hotels and mini-hydro projects. We are continually pushing Forest Conservation Department to secure and protect through enforcement including action against clearcutting 4 acres of primary forest close to its main entrance in Kudawa. Due to lack of Government action, we are seeking public and corporate support to secure the buffer zone by purchasing and permanently protecting privately held forest lands along its boundary through Rainforest Protectors Trust. We have identified more than 600 acres of private forests that are currently under threat and urgently need your support before they are lost forever. For more information and how you can help visit http://www.RainforestProtectorsTrust.org
Awareness session in Chilaw against illegal sand mining and destruction of ancient tanks Illegal sand mining and destruction of ancient tanks have become a growing environmental issue around the country especially in the North Western province. To combat this growing threat, an awareness session was conducted in Chilaw to educate and empower villagers and community leaders.
Save Muthurajawela Wetland Campaign
Met with relevant officers at Department of Wildlife Conservation to discuss expediting boundary demarcation to prevent illegal encroachment and filling of the protected area. Continued community mobilization against the ongoing filling of 100 acres of Muthurajawela wetland that is causing severe ecological damage and putting the greater Colombo area in danger of a mega flood.
Protests Against Oil Palm Mafia
Worked with community organizations to protest against the illegal expansion of ecologically destructive oil palm plantations in Baddegama.
Protecting Ancient Kumbuk Trees and River Beds
Formed and registered Parapamulla Environmental Organization in Chillaw to deal with sand mining, earth mining and removal of ancient Kumbuk trees from tanks under various world bank projects in disguise.
Action against destruction of Hanthana Mountain Range Environmental Protected Area
We have been working with Hantana residents for the last few months to stop National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) illegally destroying the Hanthana Mountain Range Environmental Protected Area. Legal action to be taken due to the failure of government authorities to stop the illegal clearings despite protests by residents and environmental organizations.
Seethawaka Ganga ecologically destructive Mini Hydro Project
Attended meetings at Central Environmental Authority to discuss environmental and social issues due to proposed Seethawaka Ganga Mini Hydro project. Met with villagers and organizations in the affected communities whose houses will be inundated, ancient archeological treasures will be completely destroyed and rainforests will be submerged to produce less than 20 MW which the proposed project will not be able to generate half of the year due to ever reducing flow of the river as a result of deforestation in catchment areas and climate change.
World Environment Day
Speeches given at several awareness campaigns organized by estate NGOs to make people environmentally sensitive.
Field visit to assess the damage and propose mitigation actions on Sinharaja road
A field visit with Forest Conservation Department and other relevant officers were held in Kudawa, Sinharaja to observe the damage to the forest due to the World Bank sponsored ESCAMP project carried out by Forest Department. Proposed solutions that involve not using concrete for drainage, not interlocking as how its done now, reforesting the areas cut down including planting ferns (meewana) and other rainforest species that existed before either side.
Action against filling Bolgoda Lake
Actively worked on several construction matters concerning Bolgoda Environmental Protected Area and got Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to send a letter to Moratuwa Urban Council requesting to stop permitting construction without CEA approval. Met and discussed issues of illegal filling at Bolgoda lake with the Mayor of Moratuwa and Central Environmental Authority. Worked with Bolgoda Protection Society to take direct action.
Rakwana Reforestation Project
Weekend of June 22 & 23, 2019, we will conduct Rakwana Reforestation Project. We hope to continue planting as well as expand the planting area. Call 0777771348 for details on how you can help.
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