The Hiniduma Bio-link Project - Asia’s first-ever Plan Vivo certified project was featured at the recently concluded ‘Sri Lanka Next’ Conference & Exhibition, the country’s official sustainability agenda-led event held at the BMICH, as a part of the ‘International Symposium on Valuation of Forest Ecosystems and their Services’. The project, which seeks to establish a biodiversity corridor between Sinharaja and Kanneliya, whilst addressing the pressing issues of rural poverty and climate change, was presented by Lakmini Senadheera - Project Manager of the Hiniduma Bio-link.
Established in 2010, the Hiniduma Bio-link Project is a CSR effort of The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC), to establish a biodiversity corridor between the two largest rainforest patches in the island – Singharaja (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Kanneliya (International Man & Biosphere Reserve), and to conserve buffer zones around the forest edges through reforestation. The primary objective is to mitigate pressure on local communities in surrounding areas of the remaining rainforest patches, whist the secondary objective is to enhance the livelihoods of traditional communities living in close proximity to the forest that is rich in biodiversity, but is threatened from logging and human encroachment for agricultural purposes. To this effect, CCC has identified and approached farmers within the communities at the boundary of the forest along the Kanneliya Reserve. In 2011, one of the global leaders in fashion, Marks & Spencer purchased Carbon Credits from this project in order to produce the world’s first ‘Carbon Neutral’ lingerie range. As of 2016, the project has successfully planted and maintained over 12,000 trees.
Lakmini Senadheera, who presented the case-study at the conference, remarked, “I am honoured to have been invited to be part of the country’s first ever government initiated conference, which was attended by a variety of local and international experts on climate change. I am pleased to note that the Hiniduma Bio-link project was well received by those in attendance, and hope that it will inspire others to take an innovative approach to tackling climate change as we work together to achieve the world’s biggest sustainability related to-do-list, the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Alexis Corblin - Chief Technical Advisor/ Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme remarked, ‘We are delighted that the Hiniduma Bio-link presentation was one of the highlights of the symposium organised by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the support of the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme. The main objective of this symposium was to bring the latest developments in valuing ecosystems and their services to the forefront in Sri Lanka. Even if the UN-REDD programme promotes national approach to REDD+, we are very enthusiastic to see successful projects that help manage & mitigate the effects of climate change and uplift rural communities – this could be used as lessons for the coming implementation of REDD+ in Sri Lanka. I wish Lakmini and the rest of her project team the best for all their future endeavors’.