Written by Zulfick Farzan
15 Jan, 2021 | 9:39 am
Colombo (News 1st); The Sri Lanka Air Force under the guidance of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana conducted the fourth wave of seed bombing at Lahugala National Park in the Ampara area today (14 January 2021).
Today’s seed bombing mission saw the dropping of 70,000 seed bombs over a 60-acre area in line with the 70th Anniversary of the Air Force which will be celebrated this year.
The Command Agro Unit at SLAF Base Katunayake under the leadership of Air Commodore Suharshi Fernando and with the collaboration of the Forest Conservation Department and the University of Peradeniya organized this mission to achieve the aim of improving the forest density of Sri Lanka in order to reach the sustainable development goals of the country by increasing the forest cover from 27% to 32% by the year 2030.
The first wave of the mission was executed at Ranorawa Government Forest in the year 2018 as a pilot project over a five acres land area and approximately 5,000 seed bombs were released.
During the second wave 67,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60 acre area inside the forest of Lahugala in Ampara in the year 2019.
The third wave which was conducted in December 2020 saw the dropping of approximately 30,000 seed bombs over a 25 acres land area within the Lahugala National Park.
Continuous supervision, data gathering and recording are carried out by the Command Agro Unit to monitor the progress of seed bombing missions. This is to monitor how plants from these seed bombs have germinated and are growing in changing environmental conditions.
As in all previous operations, the seed bombs were dropped today using an MI-17 Helicopter that departed from SLAF Station Ampara.
The bombs comprised from 8 types of native trees, Ehela (Cassia fistula), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Karanda (Pongamia pinnata), Mailla (Vitex altissima), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Koan (Schleichera oleosa) and Madatiya (Adenanthera pavonina) which are suited to the Dry Zone.
The MI-17 helicopter which was utilized for the operation was captained by Wing Commander Venu Silva while the Co-Pilot was Flying Officer Lahiru Chandrasekara.
The Command Agro Officer, Air Commodore Fernando also participated for the Seed Bombing Operation on board the Helicopter.
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