Privately-owned lands with forest cover near Sinharaja to be acquired

Privately-owned lands with forest cover near Sinharaja to be acquired

Privately-owned lands with forest cover near Sinharaja to be acquired

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

17 Mar, 2021 | 10:52 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Department of Wildlife Conservation has decided to acquire privately-owned lands with forest cover, surrounding the Sinharaja Forest Reserve to the government, a spokesperson for the department said.

“Based on estimations so far, there are around 400 hectares of such privately owned lands with forest cover around the Sinharaja Forest Reserve,” Nishantha Edirisinghe, the spokesperson for the Department of Wildlife Conservation told News 1st on Wednesday (Mar. 17).

According to Edirisinghe, despite the forest cover in these lands, the Wildlife Conservation Department has no provisions to prevent deforestation under the Forest Conservation Ordinance, given the lands are privately owned property.

“A large expanse of close to 35,000 hectares of forest cover in state-owned surrounding the Sinharaja Forest Reserve was gazetted as part of the reserve last year. By acquiring these privately owned lands with forest cover surrounding the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, its safety will be further ensured as a World Heritage site,” Nishantha Edirisinghe noted.

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