Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – March / April 2020

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.

https://janayugaya.lk/2020/02/08/thotas-ella-cleaning-program/

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

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – September 2019

Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in September 2019.

Conservation Success – Danaukanda Forest in Gampaha District

Having exposed and halted an illegal quarry operation in Danaukanda Forest situated in Weliweriya, Gampaha District in February, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka worked with Ministry of Environment and Forest Conservation Department to gazette and declare 170 acres as a protected Forest Reserve which is now in-progress and moving forward.

Climate Action Mini Documentary

Several mini documentaries were produced this month as part of climate action and encouraging individuals to contribute towards the conservation initiatives. Below is one of the videos produced.


Protest against illegal cultivation and clearance of forest by oil palm companies

Joining together with a coalition of local environmental organizations and villagers who are severely affected we successfully held a protest in front of Arpico headquarters against their continued forest clearance and illegal cultivation of oil palm on September 18. Cultivation of oil palm was banned through a Cabinet Decision in October 2018, however, a few companies including Arpico has been engaged in continued forest clearance for oil palm including the 40 acres of rainforest destroyed in Wallalavita, Kalutara District which was reported by Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka Monthly Chronicle in July. The protest managed to get the general public educated on the issues and push enforcement authorities to take action.

Further meetings were held in Kegalle regarding environmental and social issues due to Oil Palm cultivation, companies that are engaged in secretly planting oil palm despite cabinet decision and future course of action.

Forest fire prevention and catchment area conservation in Badulla District

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka worked with authorities in Badulla Provincial Council to discuss and formulate a mechanism to protect 2000 water sources and to find a solution to the ever increasing forest fires reported in the District.

Field visits with Government authorities to monitor the environmental and social impacts due to private Mini-Hydro projects in Deraniyagala and Kitulgala

Deraniyagala and Kitulgala are two regions with the highest bio-diversity and endemic species in Sri Lanka with either equal or even greater significance than Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. The region contains riverine rainforests with point endemic species such as Kitulgala Saalaya which is not found anywhere else in the country or the rest of the world. Despite this significance as once of the most ecologically important regions, successive Governments have completely failed to protect these riverine ecosystems and instead have approved many destructive private mini-hydro projects that provide less than 0.05% energy to the national grid but have destroyed more than a 25% of the waterfalls in Sri Lanka and thousands of kilometers of rivers and streams. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka together with the relevant authorities carried out several field visits in the region in September to observe the damage that has been done to both wildlife and villagers living in the area. Ironically, it is the Ministry of Environment that is pushing local government authorities to give approval to these destructive projects despite the numerous complaints and direct observations and we are continuously fighting against these corrupt officers working at the Ministry.

Successfully halted sand mining racket in Tukinhanwatta, Avissawella

Working with relevant authorities at Central Environmental Authority and Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka successfully halted the sand mining racket in Tukinhanwatta, Avissawella that was initially reported by us in July. Tukinhanwatta in Amithirigala is a water catchment and it supplies water to meet the needs of the residents of a number of villages. However, the large scale sand mining in the area has severely impacted this area.

Conservation of Muthurajawela Wetland

Rainforest Proctectors of Sri Lanka is continuing its efforts to provide greater protection to Muthurajawela wetland and is currently working with authorities to survey the entire wetland with the aim of preventing encroachment.

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.

Sri Lanka lacks laws to confront arsonists that destroy its forests

More than 200 acres of forest land were destroyed last month due to fires that erupted in the area surrounding the Ella Rock. While a suspect was arrested over a previous similar incident the suspects are simply released after being advised and no law has yet been enacted against any such perpetrators.

Rakwana Reforestation Project September 27 & 28, 2019

We are continuing Rakwana reforestation project to expand the planting area and purchased an additional 100 large plants of the endemic species Dipterocarpus Zeylanicus (Hora) for planting this weekend.

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

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – July 2019

Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in July 2019.

Action against the destruction of forest in Handapan Ella Elephant Corridor, Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest for a Water Bottling Plant

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka took timely action to stop the clearing of forest in the environmentally sensitive Handapan Ella area which is used by the last 2 remaining rainforest elephants of Sinharaja as a corridor to travel between fragmented rainforests of Sinharaja and Delwala-Walankanda.  Several acres of forests had been burnt down and backhoes/heavy machinery had been used to uproot indigenous plants, while natural rocks preventing soil erosion have also been removed.  Following investigations conducted upon questioning the owner of the land it was revealed that plans for the construction of a water bottling plant had been formulated without conducting an environment impact assessment nor getting any approval from authorities. Upon exposing the issue via media and informing the Central Environmental Authority and Forest Conservation Department, further clearing has been stopped and a team from Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka are closely monitoring the situation.

Watch / Share below news clip via Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka You Tube Channel
https://youtu.be/8Xj5fzm6vaM

Bottled water plant poses threat to Sinharaja (Ceylon Today)
https://www.facebook.com/RainforestProtectors/posts/2643248419021720

‘Colonel’ clears 8-acres in Sinharaja
https://srilankamirror.com/news/14861-colonel-clears-8-acres-in-sinharaja-pics

Action against Namunukula Plantations destroying 40 acres of Rainforest

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka reported and requested authorities to take action against Namunukula Plantations destroying 40 acres of rainforest to expand oil palm plantations in Walallavita, Kalutara District. This is an important catchment area bordering a protected forest reserve under Forest Conservation Department. More than 5 large Endemic Wal Del trees (Artocarpus nobilis) classified by IUCN as Endangered have been cut down along with many endemic creepers (large Pus Wel & Kiri Wel). Several streams have been destroyed in the process which supply water to 25 villagers living downstream.

Action against Large scale sand mining racket in Tukinhanwatta, Avissawella

Large scale sand mining racket in Tukinhanwatta, Avissawella that has been severely damaging the water catchment area and surrounding villages was exposed by Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka. Tukinhanwatta in Amithirigala is a water catchment and it supplies water to meet the needs of the residents of a number of villages. However, the large scale sand mining in the area has severely impacted this area. When area residents together with representatives of the Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka attempted to inspect the area they were denied entry by a group who are said to be from a contracted company who are working on the plot of land. Afterwards, the police arrived at the scene. The area residents allege that the sand smugglers in the area are backed by political powers. One of the villagers claimed that they have received information that it is being done by the brother of Minister Kabir Hashim. The residents claim that once all this is cut down that the people in the area will not have a single drop of water.

Watch / Share below news clip
https://www.facebook.com/RainforestProtectors/posts/2650779774935251

Rakwana Reforestation Project Planting Endemic Trees to Extend Reforested Area

On Saturday July 5th, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka volunteers were joined by a group of young students to plant endemic trees and extend the reforested area now more than 10 acres. We sincerely wish to Thank everyone who helped make this planting a success.

Campaign to annex unprotected forest land bordering Sinharaja Rainforest and declare Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest Complex

Since 2012, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka has been pushing Forest Conservation Department to annex unprotected forest land bordering Sinharaja Rainforest to stop the ongoing massive deforestation. Per Cabinet Directive in 2004, all forest land under Land Reforms Commission (LRC) bordering existing protected forest reserves such as Sinharaja, Knuckles etc were to be acquired by Forest Conservation Department and gazetted as protected forest reserves. More than 15 years has passed and we are still waiting on Forest Conservation Department to complete this task and gazette it, which involves granting protection to 2,500 hectares of highly bio-diverse rainforests in the Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest Complex including the Handapan Ella area which is currently being cleared. Despite many visits with Conservator General and assistants as well as many letters over the years requesting to do same, we have only received excuses for their delay and inaction. With the Presidential elections coming soon, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka is working on an ambitious campaign to lobby the presidential candidates to take action against the short comings of relevant departments tasked to protect our forests and wildlife and restructure / pass proposed laws & reforms with the long-term goal of protecting the remaining forest cover in the country.

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

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – May/June 2019

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.
https://www.bbc.com/sinhala/sri-lanka-48525042

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

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – February/March 2019

Below is a quick summary of our many campaigns and projects carried out in February/March 2019.

Conservation of Danaukanda Forest in Gampaha District
Investigated and exposed an illegal quarry operation in Danaukanda Forest situated in Weliweriya, Gampaha District. Subsequently, worked with Ministry of Environment to gazette the unprotected forest as a Sanctuary or Forest Reserve which is currently being carried out.

Reforestation at Lihiniyawa Halwalkele Bulathsinhala Dola

Many fragmented but high bio-diversity lowland rainforests in Sri Lanka are located in the Kalutara District under Walallavita Divisional Secretariat. Due to heavy deforestation in recent times, these areas once abundant with freshwater are now facing water crisis and collapse of the ecosystem. To combat these issues, Rainforest Protectors together with several Youth Organizations in the area and Walallavita Divisional Secretariat launched a reforestation project in March planting more than 200 native trees in deforested areas and stream buffer zone.

Securing the “Rainforest Protectors Trust” Kudawa Forest Boundary
Volunteers helped create a live fence using Gliricidia to secure the 4 acre riverine forest bordering Kudawa river protected by Rainforest Protectors Trust, in the buffer zone of Sinharaja which was under threat due to severe deforestation in the surrounding area.
https://www.facebook.com/RainforestProtectorsTrust/posts/2248375572151643

Action against deforestation within Sinharaja Rainforest Complex
Many forests that are part of the Sinharaja Rainforest Complex but not given the same legal protection by the Government are facing severe deforestation issues. Some of these forests have much higher bio-diversity and ecological value than the existing Sinharaja core area. We are currently working towards getting law enforcement to stop illegal activities in the area and protect these pristine rainforests. More information will be released soon.

Muthurajawela Wetland Conservation Project
Compilation of a comprehensive document of all illegal filling and destruction taking place within Muthurajawela Wetland along with information of the responsible persons/companies which will be used towards enforcement and eviction.

Protect Deraniyagala Campaign
Working with affected communities in Deraniyagala where pristine rainforests and villages will be taken off the map in the guise of flood prevention in Colombo. While the natural flood regulating wetlands and paddy lands in Colombo and Gampaha District are destroyed at an alarming rate by both the Government and individuals, unsustainable white elephant projects have been approved by corrupt authorities to destroy the most pristine natural areas left in the country.
https://www.facebook.com/jayantha.wijesingha/posts/10218928627030674

Action against Illegal Sand Mining
Investigated and successfully took action to stop an illegal sand mining operation at a sand deposit located in Parapamulla, Chilaw close to Deduru Oya that was being carried out under the guise of a fish project.

Protests Against Oil Palm Mafia
Participated in several village level protests held in Matara and Galle Districts.
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.

Rakwana Reforestation Project
Monthly reforestation activities carried out at Rakwana Reforestation site with the next planting scheduled for this weekend March 30 & 31st. Call 0777771348 to join!https://www.facebook.com/events/2272025353119200/

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


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

Rainforest Protectors Chronicle – November/December 2018

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.

http://www.RainforestProtectorsTrust.org

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.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/RainforestProtectors/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2252049774808255

 

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.

http://counterpoint.lk/oil-palm-goes-rancid/

 

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.

http://www.silumina.lk/2018/12/19/පුවත්/පාරවල්-හදන-මුවාවෙන්-සිංහරාජය-වනසන-තැතක

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

Web: http://www.RainforestProtectors.org

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.rainforestprotectors.rpslapp

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

 

Earth Overshoot Day and Destruction of Riverine EcoSystems in Sri Lanka

Every day we see and hear more environmental destruction than ever before. It is quite a challenge to protect the environment in a world where rapidly increasing human population, greed and ignorance is stressing the planet beyond its limits to provide sustainable natural resources for all. The “Earth Overshoot Day” marks the approximate date when humans have used more of Earth’s renewable resources than the planet can regenerate in a year. Earth Overshoot Day gets earlier each year as we continue to demand more and more of our small planet. It falls on August 1st this year 2018.

While all sounds doom and gloom, we should remember that if our ancestors did not fight for and protect what is remaining today, we would not have any Rainforests or National Parks left in our country. In the early 1970’s when the Plywood Corporation was clear-cutting Sinharaja and Kanneliya Rainforests, it was the collective efforts of Environmentalists, Scientists, Clergy and the general Public that halted the destruction. We should be thankful for their efforts and realize it was a long-fought battle that took seven long years. Therefore, lets work together and help protect what is remaining for us and our future generations.

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Destruction of Kitulgala Riverine EcoSystem, one of the most

bio-diverse areas in Sri Lanka

 

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Point Endemic Devario micronema that is found no where else on earth but Kitulgala Riverine EcoSystem currently destroyed due to mini-hydro projects

Kitulgala Ecosystem exhibits nearly the same biodiversity as that of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. Unfortunately, the authorities in Sri Lanka with powers to protect the environment has failed completely when it comes to protecting this vital ecosystem and catchment area. With Broadlands Hydropower project currently destroying both the ecosystem and tourism, another private mini-hydro project has been approved to destroy what remains. While Broadlands hydropower project will not even generate 1% of the needed energy for the country, the private mini-hydro project would not generate even 0.005%. Therefore, we are alarmed why the authorities are destroying such vital natural heritage as well as killing thousands of tourism based jobs.

As a concerned citizen, you can sign & share the petitions below.
 

Stop the Ecologically and Socio-Economically Destructive Kitulgala Mini-Hydro Project

Immediately Halt! Kitulgala Broadlands Mini Hydro Project in Sri Lanka which has affected White Water Rafting Tourism!

While petitions alone may not save the last remaining pristine ecosystems, it will help spread the message among general public as today’s media hardly cares about exposing environmental destruction, which has resulted in many destructive projects being carried out with little to no opposition.

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Kitulgala Riverine Rainforest EcoSystem – Gone Forever!

 

Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka

http://www.RainforestProtectors.org

තිරසාර සංවර්ධනයේ “අ”යන්න තිරසාර ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිපත්තියයි !

අප කවුරුත් දන්නා පරිදි ශ්‍රී ලංකාව දුපත් රාජයකි.  අප දුපත සාපේක්ෂව ඉතා කුඩා භූමියකි.  එය වර්ග කිලෝමීටර 65610 ක් පමණි. මෙය මිලියන 21ක් වන ජනගහනයක වාසයටත්, ආහාර සපයාගැනීමට අවශ්‍යවන කෘෂිකර්මයටත්, ජලය සපයාගැනීමට අවශ්‍ය වන ජලය ගබඩාකරගැනීමටත්, හුස්ම ගැනීමටත් වර්ෂා චක්‍රයත් පවත්වාගැනීමට ඉවහල්වන වනාන්තර පවත්වගනීමටත්, නොයෙක් කාර්මික යටිතල පහසුකම් අවශ්යතාවලටත් ඇති සම්පුර්ණ බිම් ප්‍රමාණයයි. එනිසාවෙන් මේසා කුඩා දුපතක වෙසෙන අපගේ භුමියේ වටිනාකම කියනිමකල නොහැකි තරම්ය. අවාසනාවට එකී ඉඩම් තිරසාර ලෙස භාවිතා කල යුතු ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයන්ට හෝ ඒ වෙනුවෙන් බිලියන ගණන් වැය කොට පවත්වාගෙන යන අමාත්‍යංශ, ආයතන සහ නිලධාරීන්ට වගේ වගක් නැතුවා සේය.

ලෝක බැංකු දත්ත වලට අනුව ලංකාවේ ඒක පුද්ගල ඉඩම් බෙදීයාම (availability) හෙක්ටයාර 0.06කි. මෙය ඉන්දියාවේ පුද්ගලයෙකුට හෙක්ටයාර 0.12 ක් ද, ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාවෙදී හෙක්ටයාර 2ක් ද, ඇමෙරිකාවේ 0.48ක්ද වශයෙන් වේ.  මේ අනුව බලන කල අපට පැහැදිලිවන ප්‍රධානම කාරණය නම් ලංකාව ඉඩම් අතින් ඉතාම දුප්පත් රාජ්‍යක් බවය. ඉන්දියාවේ පවා අපට වඩා දෙගුණයකින් ඉදිරියෙන් සිටී. නමුත් මෙකී බොහෝ රටවල් පවා අද  වන විට තම ඉඩම් පරිහරණය පිලිබඳ දැඩි ලෙස සිතා ප්‍රතිපත්ති සකස් කර තිබේ. එය එසේ වුවද, ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට තවමත් විධිමත් ඉඩම් භාවිතා ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් නොමැත. තිබෙන යම් ලේඛන පවා අසම්පුර්ණ මෙන්ම කිසිවෙන් ගණන් නොගන්නා පත්තර කඩදාසි ගණනට වැටී ඇත.

ලංකාවේ විශාලම ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිශතයක් භාවිතා වන්නේ කෘෂිකාර්මික කටයුතු වෙනුවෙනි. එය සියයට 35කටත් මදක් වැඩි ප්‍රමාණයකි. එනම් සම්පුර්ණ භූමියෙන් තුනෙන් එකක් කෘෂිකාර්මික කටයුතු වෙනුවෙන් යොදාගනී. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව කෘෂිකාර්මික ආර්ථිකයක්ව පවතී සමයේ එය අරුමයක් නොවේ. නමුත් අද එය එසේ නොවේ. ඇඟලුම් කර්මාන්තය හා සංචාරක හා වෙනත් කර්මාන්ත ලංකාවේ ප්‍රධාන ආර්ථික උපායන් බවට ක්‍රමයෙන් පත්වී ඇති අතර කෘෂිකර්මය තවදුරටත් මෙරට ආර්ථිකය හසුරුවන ප්‍රධාන සාධකය නොවේ. එසේම එය එසේ වීමට මුලික කාරණා කිහිපයක් නම් ලංකාවේ කෘෂිකාර්මික පලදායීතාව එන්න එන්නම අඩුවී යාමයි. කෘෂිකර්මය වෙනුවෙන් අප විසින් භාවිත කරන ඉඩම් පලදායී ලෙස යොදාගත්තේ නම්, එයින් හරි අඩකින් රට කෘෂිකාර්මිකව ස්ව්‍යන්පොෂිත කල හැකිව තිබුණි. ලංකාවේ සහල් හිඟය සහ අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය ආහාර ද්‍රව්‍ය ආනයනය දෙස බැලීමේ මෙය මොනවට ඔප්පු වේ.

එසේම, අදුරදර්ශී ලෙස වාණිජ භෝග වගා ව්‍යාප්තිය මගින් මෙරට පරිසරයට හා ජන ජීවිතයට එල්ල කර ඇති බලපෑම සුළුපටු නොවේ. 1980 දී සියයට හැටකට වඩා වැඩිවූ ලංකාවේ වනාන්තර පසුගිය දශක කිහිපයේ අවෑමෙන් සියයට 20කටත් අඩු අගයකට ගෙන ඒමට මෙරට ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයන් කටයුතු කර ඇත. සිහරාජය නකල්ස් ශ්‍රී පාද අඩවිය ඇතුළු අති විශාල කළුදුල් වනාන්තර ප්‍රදේශ ප්‍රමාණයක් එලෙස නොයෙක් භෝග වගාවන්ට සහ ව්‍යාපෘති වෙනුවෙන් බිල්ලට දී තිබේ. විශේෂයෙන් යුධ සමයෙන් අනතුරුව උතුරු නැගෙනහිර මෙන්ම ඌව ප්‍රදේශයේ ආරක්ෂා වී තිබු වනන්තර හෙක්ටයාර ලක්ෂයකට ආසන්න ප්‍රමාණයක් මේ  වන විට නැවත පදිංචි කිරීම්, අලුත් ජනාවාස කිරීම් සහ ඉරිඟු, විදේශීය කෙසෙල්  සහ උක් වැනි කෘෂිකාර්මික කටයුතු වෙනුවෙන් වනසා දමා ඇත. එවන් විනාශයකට ලක්කරන ලද ප්‍රධාන කලාප අතර විපත්තුවට උතුරින් වූ වනාන්තර ප්‍රදේශ, වවුනියාව, අම්පාර, බුද්ධංගල, කුමන, ලාහුගල, යාල සහ මොනරාගල ප්‍රදේශ විශේෂ වේ. එසේම හම්බන්තොට ප්‍රදේශයේ ඉතා සුවිශාල කැලෑ සහ ලඳු ඉඩම් ප්‍රමාණයක් සංවර්ධන සළුවෙන් වසා නොයෙක් ආකාරයෙන් සීග්‍ර ලෙස විනාශ කරමින් පවතී.

kotiyagalaකොටියාගල වනාන්තරය 2016

තිරසාර සංවර්ධන යුගයක් මෙන්ම තිරසාර සංවර්ධන ඉලක්ක සැපිරීමටත් සපථ කරමින් පැරිස් සමුළුව, ලෝක තිරසාර සංවර්ධන සමුළුව මෙන්ම නොයෙක් පාරිසරික සමුළු ගිවිසුම් එකඟතා වලට සහභාගී වී ඇති රාජ්‍යක් ලෙස ඒ වෙනුවෙන් ගතයුතු පියවරවල මුලික අවශ්‍යතාවයක් වන තිරසාර ඉඩම් කළමනාකරණය පිළිබඳව අප රටක් ලෙස මෙතෙක් සිතා බලා අවම ප්‍රතිපත්ති එකඟතාවන්ටවත් පැමිණ නොසිටීම ඉතාම ගැටලුසහගත මෙන්ම අවාසනාවන්ත තත්වයකි. උදාහරණයක් ලෙස වනාන්තර හෝ පාරිසරිකව වැදගත් ප්‍රදේශවල උදා කල ගම්මාන ඉදිකිරීම වෙනුවට ඒ සඳහා වඩා සුදුසූ තිරස් නිවාස ව්‍යාපෘතියක් වැන්නක් දිගුකාලීනව මෙන්ම කෙටිකාලීන ආර්ථික සහ පාරිසරික අතින් තිරසාර වන බවත්, වතු කම්කරු ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් ඉඩම් හා නිවාස ව්‍යාපෘති කිරීමේදී වතු ඉඩම් අක්කර සිය ගණන් භාවිතා කරනවාට වඩා පෙර සඳහන් කල පරිදිම තට්ටු නිවාස ව්‍යාපෘතියක් වැනි ආයෝජනයකින් ඔවුන්ගේ මුලික අවශ්‍යතා වඩා කාර්යක්ෂම ලෙසත්, යටිතල පහසුකම් වඩා පහසුවෙනුත්, ක්‍රමවත්වත් සැපයිය හැකි බව අප තේරුම් ගත යුතුය.

ලඳු කැලෑ ඉඩම් හිස් ඉඩම් හෝ මුඩු ඉඩම් ලෙස දැකීමට ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයන් පුරුදුව සිටීම මීළඟ අවාසනාවන්තම තත්වයයි.  විශේෂයෙන් අලි ඇතුන් වැනි සතුන් ගැවසීමට ප්‍රිය කරන එවැනි ඉඩම්, විශේෂයෙන් මානම්, ඉලුක් සහ පතන ආකාරයේ ඉඩම්ද මෙලෙස වැඩකට නැති ඉඩම් ලෙස වර්ග කරමින් ඒවා විනාශ කිරීමට අර ඇදීම පාරිසරික සමතුලිතාවය සහ පරිසර පද්ධති පිලිබඳ රටක් ලෙස අපේ දැනුම පිලිබඳ කදිම නිදසුනකි.

ඉතා තද බෑවුම් සහිත කඳුකර ප්‍රදේශ, අඩි තුන්දහසකට මෙන්ම පන්දහසකට වැඩි කඳුකර ප්‍රදේශ, තෙත්බිම් පරිසර පද්ධති, ගංගාධාර, ජල පෝෂක ප්‍රදේශ, කඩොලාන පරිසර පද්ධති, කළු ගල් කඳු සහ කුඹුරු වැනි පහත්බිම් ඇතුළු එකී මෙකී සියලු සංවේදී පරිසර කලාපවල ඉඩම්වලට අද අත්වී ඇති ඉරණම ඉතා භයානකය. එය පොදුවේ ලාංකීය මිනිස් ප්‍රජාවට පමණක් නොව, ලෝකයේ ජිව විවිධත්වය අතින් ඉහලම රටක් වන මෙරට ශාක හා සත්ව ප්‍රජාවට මහත් තර්ජනයකි. මෙහි බලපෑම ආවේනික මත්ෂ්‍ය වර්ග 50 කට වඩා වැඩි මිරිදිය මත්ෂ්‍ය විවිධත්වයේ සිට අලි ඇතුන්, දිවියන්, වලසුන් දක්වාද, නොතර ඇස නොගැටෙන කුඩා ජීවී විශේෂයන් දක්වාද විහිදී යයි.

dellawaසිංහරාජයට යාබද දෙල්ලව වැසි වනාන්තරය 2017

ඉඩම් කළමනාකරණය වෙනුවෙන් පමණක් ලංකාවේ ආයතන 15කට අධික ප්‍රමාණයක් මහජන මුදල් යොදවමින් පවත්වාගෙන යයි. මේ  අතර ඉඩම් අමාත්‍යංශයේ සිට නාගරික සංවර්ධන අමාත්යංශය දක්වාත්, ඉඩම් පරිහරණ ප්‍රතිපත්ති වැනි ආයතන ඉතා විශාල ප්‍රමාණයක්ද ඇත. නමුත් අද වන තෙක් මෙරට කඳුකරය ජල පෝෂක ප්‍රදේශ හෝ වනාන්තර ඉඩම් ආරක්ෂා කරගැනීමේ පැහැදිලි ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් මෙරට නොමැත. ඒ  වෙනුවට දේශපාලඥයින්ට හා ව්‍යාපාරිකයින්ට අවශ්‍ය පරිදි මෙරට වටිනා ඉඩම් අවභාවිතා කරමින් සිටී.

ඉඩම්වලින් සිදුවන මුලික සේවාවන් වන ජයිව විවිධත්ව ක්‍රියාකාරකම්වලට අවශ්‍ය පරිසරය සැකසීම, කාලගුණ තත්වයන් පාලනයට සහය වීම, ජල චක්‍රය පවත්වාගෙන යාම, පෝෂක ගබඩාකරගැනීම,  පිරිපහදු කාර්ය සහ වියෝජන කාර්ය වැනි දේ පිලිබඳ නිසි අවභෝදයකින් ක්රියාකරන්නේ නම් ලංකාවේ ඉඩම් රත්තරන් හා සමාන වටිනාකමක් ඇති  සම්පතක් බව වැටහෙනවා නොඅනුමානය. එසේ නොවැටහීම හේතුකරගෙන මේ වන විට ලංකාවේ ඉඩම් අති විශාල ප්‍රතිශතයක් නිසරු බවටත්, කාන්තාරකරණයටත් ලක්වෙමින් පවතී.

එවැනි වටපිටාවක් තුල ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණය (හායනයට හා නිසරු වූ ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිස්ථාපනය), සන්රක්ෂිත කලාප ආරක්ෂා කිරීම,  යෝජිත රක්ෂිත ඉඩම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම, ඉඩම් අවභාවිතය අවම කිරීම (පාංශු, ජලය..වැනි), කෘෂිකාර්මික ඉඩම්වල පලදායීතාව වැඩිකිරීම සහ පාරිසරික වැදගත්කම් ඇති සියලු ඉඩම් වර්ග කර සංරක්ෂණය කිරීම අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය කාර්යන් බවට පත්ව ඇත.

එබැවින් මෙරට පාලකයන්, ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයන් හා අදාළ බලධාරීන් තේරුම් ගත යුත්තේ ඉඩම් යනු ක්ෂණිකව හෝ කෙටිකාලීනව මුදල් උපයාගැනීමේ මාර්ගයක් නොවන බවත්, ඉඩම් සම්පත පොදුවේ රටේ ජනතාවටත්, ගහකොළ සතා සීපාවාටත් එකසේ අයිති වස්තුවක් බවයි.

ඉඩමක් විනාශ වී ගිය පසු නැවත යථා තත්වයට පත්කිරීමට පරම්පරාවක් ගතවන බව අප සිහිතබා ගතයුතුය. ඉඩම් බුද්ධිමත් හා තිරසාර ලෙස භාවිතා නොකිරීම තුලින්, අප වර්තමානයේ අතිවින්දින්නා වූ ව්යාසන වන දැඩි නියං, ගංවතුර, නාය යාම් සහ ගිලාබැසීම් වැනි ව්යාසන උග්‍ර වේ.  පසුගිය වසර කිහිපය එයට මනා උදාහරණ ගෙනදක්වයි.

එවන් වටපිටාවක් තුල රට ලෙස අප හැකි ඉක්මනින් ප්‍රායෝගික තිරසාර ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් ක්‍රියාත්මක කර අවම වශයෙන් වනාන්තර ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිශතය 40% ක් දක්වාවත් වර්ධනය කල යුතුය. මධ්‍යම කඳුකරය සහ අවම වශයෙන් අඩි 5000 වැඩි උසින් පිහිටි හැකි සියළු ඉඩම් ස්වභාවධර්මයට බාර දිය යුතුය. උමාඔය මොරගොල්ල වැනි ව්‍යාපෘති කිරීමේදී පවුල් දහස් ගණන් වෙනත් ප්‍රදේශවල පදිංචි කරවිය හැකිනම්, පාරිසරික අවශ්‍යතාවන් සලකා මෙකී ඉඩම් පවරාගැනීම අසීරු නොවනු ඇත. මුතුරාජවෙල, බදුලුවිල, බෙල්ලන්විල අත්තිඩිය ඇතුළු සියලු තෙත් බිම් ඉඩම් නැවත සංරක්ෂණය කලයුතුය. විදේශීය සමාගම්වලට අපේ වටිනා වනාන්තර ඉඩම් විකුණා දැමීම නැවතිය යුතුය. සියලු පාරිසරික නීතීන් හා පාරිසර සංරක්ෂණ අවශ්‍යතා සලකා කිසිඳු ඉඩමක් කර්මාන්ත වෙනුවෙන් බදු දී හො විකුණා දැමිය නොයුතුය. අවසාන වශයෙන් ඉඩම් ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ කොමිසම සතු ඉතා වටිනා වනාන්තර සහ අතහැරදමන ලද වතු ඉඩම් සියල්ල අවභාවිතා වැලක්වීමට පාරිසරික වැදගත්කමක් ඇති කලාප බවට පරිවර්තනය කලයුතුය.

වැසි වනාන්තර සුරකින්නෝ
http://www.RainforestProtectors.org

 

Declare the Endemic and Endangered Hora Tree as a Protected Species

The Hora tree (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus) is an endemic tall canopy tree native to the Rainforests of Sri Lanka and listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is isolated to the highly fragmented Rainforests and a few private forest lands in the Wet Zone. It plays an important ecological role as the dominant native canopy tree in the old growth virgin Rainforests in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, many who do not understand the ecological value of the Hora tree, continue to cut down what is remaining and not committed to planting any new replacement trees. During a conservation expedition to Udakiruwa Rainforest – the last Rainforest in Uva Province and a highly bio-diverse area – volunteers of Rainforest Protectors were alarmed to see many giant Hora trees hundreds of years old, been cut down by individuals with the blessing of local authorities. It is a shame that world’s tallest Hora trees at 60m height, situated only in the Udakiruwa Rainforest in Sri Lanka are being felled relentlessly due to the ignorance of local authorities and those trying to make quick money.

Epithetic Cymbidium orchids on large Diptocarp tree

Unless the Ministry of Environment and Central Environmental Authority coordinate to immediately take action and declare the Hora tree (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus) as a protected species and grant the highest protection, Sri Lanka may soon lose this treasure forever. Legal protection should be followed up with notifying and educating the local authorities such as Grama Niladhari, Divisional Secretariat and District Secretariat offices of relevant areas of the importance and legal protection given to the Hora tree, and the need to preserve it for the future.

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Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka
http://www.RainforestProtectors.org