Conservation of Muthurajawela Sanctuary COPA decides to appoint Joint Committee consisting of stakeholders

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana  

e Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) decided to appoint a Joint Committee consisting of all relevant stake holders responsible for the conservation of the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, Parliament media unit which quoted COPA chief said yesterday.   

 The decision was taken at the Committee on Public Accounts which met in Parliament recently under the chairmanship of Prof. Tissa Vitarana. 

Although Muthurajawela was gazetted as a sanctuary by the Gazette Notification No. 947/13 of 1996, the Committee pointed out that the boundaries of the sanctuary have not been demarcated so far.   
In addition, the committee inquired into the reasons for identifying only 1,285 hectares of Muthurajawela as a sanctuary even though the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) had identified 2,569 hectares as an ecosystem.   
The Committee focused on the importance of protecting this wetland in line with the Ramsar Convention entered into force in Sri Lanka on 15 October 1990. Representatives of the Muthurajawela Protection Organisation and the Muthurajawela Protection Archbishop Environment Committee also made a special presentation on the conservation of Muthurajawela.  

The Committee also noted the failure of the relevant agencies to properly identify the total extent of lands in the Muthurajawela ecosystem exceeding 6,000 hectares and the extent of private lands and government lands within the sanctuary.  

“Although a number of complaints have been received by the government institutes such as Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, the Central Environmental Authority, the Urban Development Authority and the Agrarian Services Department regarding the illegal filling of lands belonging to the Muthurajawela Ecological Zone, the COPA has drawn the attention for not taking proper action in this regard, the media unit said.  
In addition, the Committee expressed its views on how to overcome the weaknesses of sharing the results of bio-diversity researches and surveys among all wildlife conservation agencies.  
Chairman of the Committee Prof. Tissa Vitarana, State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Members of Parliament Tissa Attanayake, Mohamed Muzammil, B.Y.G. Ratnasekera, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya and Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Anil Jasinghe along with a group of officials and representatives of civil society organisations for the protection of Muthurajawela also participated in the meeting. 


  • The Committee noted the failure of the relevant agencies to identify the total extent of lands in the Muthurajawela  ecosystem exceeding 6,000 hectares and the extent of private lands and  government lands within the sanctuary



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