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Safeguarding Sri Lanka’s natural heritage

14 May 2015 06:56 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Open letter to President Maithripala Sirisena

The Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) of Sri Lanka is a non-political, non partisan organization that provides a platform for connecting interest groups with a patriotic interest in safeguarding Sri Lanka’s natural heritage through conservation and advocacy.

The FEO has noted with pleasure your commitment to safeguard the environment of Sri Lanka by ordering the immediate stop to unregulated clearing of forests north of Wilpattu National Park. We also note that though the settlements that have become contentious issues are outside the national park, these communities will have to endure immense hardships in the future, with little access to essential services. They will also have to contend with human wildlife conflicts (especially from elephants). Therefore, a more humanitarian option would be to find alternative lands with better access to essential services and livelihoods.

But, as a larger issue, in order to ensure that Sri Lanka’s environment is protected for future generations from unplanned land conversion, we take this opportunity to draw  your attention further, to other vital considerations:

1. Your 100 Day Programme states that existing laws that safeguard our Protected Areas “will be effectively implemented without fear or favour”. We therefore request you to appoint a committee to review and investigate projects that violate the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO), Forest Ordinance and Coast Conservation Act. This committee should liaise with the Central Environment Authority (CEA) to ensure that these projects are compliant with appropriate environmental and social safeguards.

2. We request you to impress upon all politicians, government employees and the general population that conserving our remaining forests is vital for the survival of this nation, its people, and development aspirations. Sri Lanka’s forested eco-systems have now dwindled to the bare minimum, and sustained supplies of water, a healthy and disease-free environment, and other eco-system services that support the nation’s socio-economic integrity is dependent on conservation of these remaining forests. Therefore, development here on must only be permissible if it is truly sustainable.

With great trust in your leadership and commitment to the future of Sri Lanka, 

The Federation of Environmental Organizations

Trustees: Dr. Rishani Gunasingha, Rohan Wijesinha, Rukshan Jayawardene, Sharmini Ratwatte, Sunela Jayawardene, Radhika Philip, Rahula Perera 
Core Group: Dr. Eric Wikramanayake, Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, Manori Gunawardena 

  Comments - 1

  • L.B.Senaratne Friday, 15 May 2015 10:54 PM

    Where is this Federation of Enviromental Organisations. Here in Kandy the Hantanne Conservation Gaetted area is raped, by Government Officers who are of standing , but they are been protected.The Chiarman of the Committee of Management of Hantanne has given on some pretext to fell down 13 trees and the Kandy Regional office is " dumb " on this matter.Where do one complain to the the Federation. Could I have the address. Please.

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