Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Invasive plant found spreading in Sri Pada mountain range: Minister

09 Apr 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      


  • This plant first appeared in Myanmar and the Eastern Himalayas

By Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama   

Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi has directed the authorities concerned to promptly address the spread of the invasive plant species ‘Koenigia Mollis’ in the tropical rainforest surrounding the Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) mountain range.   

She instructed officials to implement measures focused on biodiversity conservation and to employ scientific and technical methods for the removal of the invasive plant.   

The invasive plant has been found to have spread along the roads leading to Sri Pada, near the stalls, shops and toilets.   

In areas where the plant has spread, native plants have been completely overwhelmed and destroyed.   
Researchers at Sabaragamuwa University have discovered that a particular plant, typically found growing 6 to 8 feet tall near mountainous areas, gradually weakens the stability of its root system. This weakening contributes to an increased risk of landslides occurring at the mountain peaks.   
It has also been confirmed that this invasive plant has a serious effect on biodiversity. This plant first appeared in Myanmar and the Eastern Himalayas. It has now spread to Nepal and China.   

Wildlife and Forest Conservation Ministry Secretary Gunadasa Samarasinghe, Wild Life Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara, Forest Conservation Director General Nishantha Edirisinghe were also at the discussion.   

During the discussion, the minister instructed the Wildlife Director General to furnish a comprehensive report on the progress of removing the invasive plant.   

The minister also mentioned the need for immediate action, suggesting the formation of an intellectual committee composed of officials from organizations such as UNESCO, environmental groups, and universities.   
Professor Cyril Wijesundara and former Basnayaka Nilame of Saman Devalaya, Sunil Weerasekera of Sabaragamuwa Saman Devalaya also participated in the discussion.