Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in November/December 2018.
Permanent Protection of 4 acre privately held riverine forest patch in Sinharaja Buffer Zone
Rainforest Protectors Trust scored the first major victory when it successfully purchased and permanently protected a 4 acre privately held highly biodiverse riverine forest patch in Sinharaja Buffer Zone on November 30, 2018. Having mapped the Northern section of Sinharaja Buffer Zone, the Trust is currently working towards protecting hundreds of more pristine rainforest acres currently under private ownership before they are gone forever.
Action against deforestation at Nochchiagama Andarawewa Forest Reserve
Took action against illegal construction activity within Nochchiagama Andarawewa Forest Reserve in Anuradhapura District which has been causing wild elephants to move to surrounding villages increasing human-elephant conflict. A press conference was successfully held along with the village leaders to expose the issue.
Rakwana Reforestation Project – November 24/25
Rakwana reforestation project was successfully carried out on November 24 & 25, 2018 with more than 30 students from University of Colombo participating to plant hundreds of endemic and native saplings to extend the planting area to 10 acres and growing.
Continued community empowerment against ecologically destructive Oil Palm plantations
Throughout the last two months, we worked with the affected communities in the wet zone of Sri Lanka where expanding oil palm plantations have wrecked havoc the sensitive ecosystem and created many social issues. To read more about the issues surrounding the oil palm expansion in Sri Lanka and our work to help the villagers and protect the ecosystem, please read the article below.
Joint community action and protest campaign against dumping Colombo garbage in Puttalam Lagoon/Aruwakkalu
As part of a large protest campaign organized by religious and community organizations in Puttalam against the Government plan to dump Colombo’s garbage in the ecologically sensitive Wilpattu Buffer Zone and subsequently bordering Puttalam Lagoon, gave a speech with details of the current garbage crisis and the Government’s inaction towards Waste-to-Energy initiatives despite many companies submitting proposals to setup at no cost to the Government/Taxpayer (on Build-Own-Operate basis) during the last 4 years. Due to corruption, unfortunately the option chosen by the Government (transport/dump garbage by train on a daily basis) at a cost of US$ 107 million, is a massive burden to the taxpayer and disastrous to the ecologically rich Puttalam lagoon and Wilpattu buffer zone.
Watch the video below:
Educating the public on deforestation and ecological issues through media
Participated in the Open Mic program on Ada Derana to educate the public on deforestation and ecological issues currently faced by our country. Watch the entire episode via the link below.
Action against destroying Core Zone of Sinharaja Rainforest using heavy machinery
Led a large media 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. As a result of our timely action, the Conservator General made a statement that vehicles will not will be allowed.
Additionally, action against destruction of Muthurajawela wetland and private mini-hydro projects which are drying up of hundreds of streams, rivers and waterfalls are ongoing through community mobilization, media exposure and meetings with respective authorities.
While a lot of progress was made this year towards conservation and protection of our natural heritage, the ever increasing threats demand us even more in 2019.
We are looking for volunteers who can help us in the field and donors who can help fund our monthly expenses. Please call 0777771348 or email RainforestProtectors@gmail.com for details.
Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka