Despite the Coronavirus and curfew imposed, many illegal activities continue within Sri Lanka’s protected areas including illegal mining, poaching, human-induced forest fires, encroachment, illegal filling of marshland, illegal oil palm cultivation, blocking streams and rivers preventing access to water for villagers and wildlife, and many more. As Rainforest Protectors continue to receive these complaints from villagers, and not able to be on the field due to curfew restrictions, we communicated with the relevant authorities to address the issues and wish to thank all those who have helped.
Exposed illegal diversion of water, pollution and deforestation within Sinharaja rainforest carried out by two hotels in Pitadeniya
Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka together with Hiru CIA team exposed severe damage done to Sinharaja Rainforest near the Pitadeniya entrance by two hotels engaged in extracting large quantities of water from the streams to fill swimming pools, cutting down trees along the steep river buffer zone and diverting polluted sewage to Gin Ganga (river). Watch and share the video below.
Action against Bandaragama Marsh Filling and Ground Water Issues
Field visit to investigate the marsh filling was done a day prior to curfew was imposed. Footage was taken and reported to Central Environmental Authority requesting action against the culprits.
Action against Mini-Hydro Mafia that is blocking water causing collapse of ecosystem during drought
Constant followup on mini hydro water blockages during drought. Both E-flow and filling dam before power house from 4 hours to as much as 9 hours a practice by many mini-hydros that kill aquatic life.
Watch our video on how rivers go dry even with e-flow
Cleanup of Thotas Ella in Kalutara District during February
Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka participated in the cleanup of Thotas Ella in Wallallavita Divisional Secretariat, Kalutara District in the month of February. Hundreds of pounds of plastics, glass and garbage were removed from the site of the waterfall.
Exposed treasure mining activity in Suriyakanda forest reserve
While curfew in place, treasure mining and gem mining activity has increased in the eastern side of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka contacted the local police station to report one such treasure mining activity that took place in adjoining Suriyakanda forest reserve providing information and requesting stern action against the those responsible.
Action against illegal mining in Sinharaja buffer zone during curfew hours
Working with law enforcement, 4 people were arrested that illegally carried out mining while the curfew was on in Rakwana, Sinharaja Rainforest buffer zone.
Stopping Forest Fires set off by human activity in Sinharaja Rainforest and Buffer Zone
Several fires were doused using our contacts and with the support of estate workers. We have been getting fire alerts much frequently both during and before corona curfew. Successfully coordinated many such attempts with DMC.
Action against clearing and burning of state forest in Puttalam
Large tract of state forest within Puttalam and Vanathawilluwa Divisional Secretariat were burnt down and cleared for human encroachment. Worked with Puttalam AGA and other entities to prevent further destruction. Due to coronavirus curfew no action against the responsible persons have been filed yet.
Programme on Sirasa Pethikada to educate the public on importance of Conservation and supporting those who are battling on the frontline against deforestation
Please watch and share to generate awareness and support.
Human-induced forest fire prevention efforts
Distributed 5 pairs of boots to Rakwana firefighters who helped douse human-induced forest fires in Eastern Sinharaja Rainforest.
Exposed the human-induced forest fire incidents and its severity through the media.
Meeting with the minister to discuss the issue of illegal planting of oil palm by some plantation companies
Exposed illegal gem mining in Nivithigala that is destroying the rivers and its ecosystem
Exposed road construction within the sensitive morningside of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest
Saved hundreds of acres in Pidurutalagala Forest Reserve from being illegally given for cultivation
*Note: Printing error in above article. The correct extent is 300 acres and not 3000.
It is the responsibility of everyone and not just the environmentalists to take some responsibility towards stopping the ongoing massive destruction of our forests, rivers, streams, waterfalls and the pollution of air and water. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka is a local environmental organization with support provided by only a few individuals. If you can help, please call 0777771348 or email RainforestProtectors@gmail.com
Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka