President orders expansion of Wilpattu forest area

President orders expansion of Wilpattu forest area

Written by Staff Writer

30 Dec, 2016 | 9:48 pm

President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed authorities to issue a gazette notification declaring a larger wildlife reserve, further expanding the forest area that belongs to the Wilpattu National Park.

The president issued the instructions during a special meeting with officials of the Ministry of Environment at the Presidential Secretariat.

The President called for the expeditious implementation of a programme to continuously monitor forest including the Wilpattu National Park with the usage of modern technology and aerial technology.

president-meetingPresident Sirisena further instructed officials to enforce the law against persons who are responsible for the destruction of forests, irrespective of their social status.

The president had requested the Judicial Service Commission to fully implement the penalties and sentences within the existing laws against deforestation and forest degradation. He also instructed officials to appoint a special investigation team, which would comprise officials from the Ministry of Environment, Department of Forest Conservation, the Department of Wildlife Conservation as well as representatives of environmental organizations and journalists.

The president instructed the officials to implement a special programme to identify land outside the forest areas for the purpose of resettlement.

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