Saving Sri Lanka, One Plant at a Time

13 September 2018 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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At the Daily Mirror, we believe that climate change is one of the greatest threats that we, as Sri Lankans, will face in the future. Therefore, we intend to provide our readers with local and international content with the objective to educate and inspire. We would also like to learn from our valued readers about any ongoing initiatives in making Sri Lanka a more sustainable nation.

We aim to explore sustainable ways of living that have the most positive impact on not just our natural environment, but also for humans and animals.

While topics such as global warming, pollution, and inequality are confronting, we believe it's time the media stopped shying away from these issues and became an active participant in finding solutions - and we hope you will join us.


Global deforestation rates hit a record high in 2017 as data revealed that the world has lost one football ground’s worth of forest cover every second in 2017. Not only does this mark an upward trend in deforestation but also jeopardises all efforts to tackle environmental issues including climate change.  


A small but important group of Sri Lankans are attempting to change this trend. Reforest Sri Lanka, a non profit society committed to protect and extend the forest cover in Sri Lanka was formed by a group of students studying for their MBA at the University of Moratuwa in 2015. What started out as a mandatory course work, shared among eight students, eventually became their passion project, planting saplings where necessary and raising awareness on the importance of reforestation. 

 

Over the course of 28 months they have replanted over 50,000 saplings with the participation of 3,500 volunteers


Founder and President of Reforest Sri Lanka Achala Meddegama hails from Peradeniya. He recalls seeing the Hantana mountain range engulfed in flames during the dry seasons, sometimes even a dozen times a month. “As swathes of forest cover were destroyed in wildfires I felt that we had to initiate change to preserve the natural beauty of this country,” said Achala. 


Their initial project was to plant 500 saplings. “What we observed during this project was that Sri Lankans are keen on efforts to protect and preserve the environment, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into action. Public engagement on this kind of work was almost non existent,” he said. Encouraged by the response they received, the group decided to take their exemplary work across Sri Lanka. 


Their initial areas of concern were to increase the forest cover, especially in government lands. Reforest Sri Lanka has been instrumental in replanting saplings in catchment areas with native and endemic trees. Their usual choices would be to replant trees such as Karanda, Kohomba, Nelli, Aralu and Bulu. They would also add 10% of fruit trees to this mix for animals and birds to feed on. 


The organisation functions entirely on the services of volunteers, while various corporates, university staff, students, factory employees as well as members of the Army and Navy have taken part in the reforestation efforts led by this group. 

A re-planting project carried out with volunteers


Reforestation is not an easy task. It involves finding the saplings as well as an immense amount of groundwork.  “Over the course of 28 months we have replanted over 50,000 saplings with the participation of 3,500 volunteers,” he added. Their efforts have taken them across the length and breadth of Sri Lanka in search of viable areas for re-plantation. They have successfully completed re-plantation projects in 
Ingiriya, Kalutara, Kandana, Talawila, Knuckles, Batalanda, Wellawaya and even planted 15,000 saplings along the Galle Expressway from Kadawatha onwards. 


If you wish to support this worthy cause, reach out to them via reforestsl@gmail.com or through the Reforest Sri Lanka facebook page where they share updates of their projects as well as useful information about our environment. 

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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

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