The Rape of a Virgin Rain Forest -PART- II
Posted on September 28th, 2011

Sumal -UHO


ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After written the first part of this article I have got an unprecedented backup, collaboration andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  encouragements from many good hearted people who really careƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the Sinharaja forest and her exceptional natural heritage. So, I gather this very occasion, to thanks them all. May the blessings of God Sumana Saman;ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the protector ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the sacred Sripada Adaviya -Rakwana- Sinharaja jungle range, be always with them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On last December 2010; I was able to mount an exploration into the Sinharaja jungle toward the Sinhagala sector also covering the Kolonthotuwa, Lankagama and WatugalaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  hamlets with the help of some villagers. During that trip I could found out some information relevance with the Sinharaja Western block and I was so fortunate to well understand the social ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”cultural relations between the native people and the jungle much better than what I found in my earliest expeditions.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, unfortunately; due to many unexpected events, I had failed to exploreƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  parts of the Eastern Sinharajablock . Anyhow I managed to get at least something of which now I am going to tell you about. So this 2nd part of the article entirely focuses on the Eastern Sinharaja section.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In parallel with my own observations herewith, I would try toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  analyze the Eastern Sinharaja issue by extracting some documented sources which available to us in this very moment. Among them , the firstƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  one is the article ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Diversity, Threats and Conservation of Herpetofauna in and around the Eastern Sinharaja _. by Thilina D surasinghe & Ravindra L Jayarathna; published on Sabaragamuwa University journal in 2006. And the second one is a research paper , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Plant Biogeography and conservation of the south-Western hill forests of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, prepared by Prof I.A.U.Nimal Gunatilleke.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  affiliation with the source is numerically shown by [-1-] and [-2-] respectively. I suppose that theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  contributions of these two academic resources would be important since both of them have made an in-depth study into the eastern- Sinharaja conservation issue beyond the conventional frames of approach. Apart from those two documents I have used other two foremost inputs. One is the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinharaja management plan ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- a work of Mr E.A.P.N Edirisinghe, Assistant conservator of forests, and published by Forest department in 2009. And the other one is the NCR or well known National conservation Review; Technically named ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Designing an optimum areas system forsri lankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s natural Forests-Volume 1. This was a project of the forest department of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment and has been prepared by IUCN- the world conservation union and the world conservation monitoring centre for the food and agriculture organization (FAO) of the United Nations-July 1997. (15)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Again let me express my profound gratitude to all of whom’ helped and encouraged me on this effort.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Eastern Sinharaja-ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Identifying theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ProblemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Eastern SinharajaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ portion?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Eastern Sinharaja is the name used to identify the far eastern section of the Sinharaja WHS, which lies between the Mathara and Rathnapura districts. And the major part of this forest is composedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  with the Sub-Montane forests. The core of eastern Sinharaja belongs to the category of Bio-Region ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Wet HighlandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ in where the montane evergreen forest dominant with geographic altitude 1500 -2500 meters and annual rainfall is between 2500-5000 mm. No Dry Months. Also Being in linkage with Sooriyakanda-Handapan Ella- Gonagala and other Rakwana-DeniyayaHillRangeforests, the Eastern SinharajaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  NHWA represents undeniable part of the entire forest system in this region. However, it must be noted, allƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  of these forest fragments once stood together and formed an unique jungle with perhaps more than 100 000 hectares. TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  well-known ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinharaja Maha MukalanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ .

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is the so-called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Morning SideƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ sectorƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  [ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Himidiri PedesaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚– in Sinhalese] ?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦The most reputed and the main part of the Eastern Sinharaja is the Morningside proposed forest reserve. Apart from Morningside, this part of the Sinharaja MAB reserve lies in close proximity to forested regions such as Caledonia, Abbey Rock, Poddana, Lauderdale, Sooriyakanda, Silverkanda, Gongala, Kadamuduna, Kurulugala, Handapan Ella plains, Ensalwatta and Thangamalai plains (Survey Department, 1996). However, the total area of Morningside forest region is nearly 10km2 (Bahir and Surasinghe, 2005). Considering the entire land area (taking into consideration all areas under natural vegetation, abandoned plantations, other state-owned unused lands, encroached lands) in and around Morningside reserve of eastern Sinharaja, the total area would be approximately 30km2. The Eastern Sinharaja is geographically positioned between 6ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚º22 to 6ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚º26N and 80ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚º31to 80ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚º31 E (Survey Department, 2001)..ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  [ -1- ]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ .The Morningside Cloud Forest is locatedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  east of the Sinharaja WHS and it is one of the hot spots of higher Biodiversity in the world. Recently, the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  identified this 1,000-hectareƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  cloud forestƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  as a top priority because a total of 11 globally Threatened amphibians, three endemic lizards, and three species of endemic freshwater crabs are native to this threatened forest. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Five species out of these 11 endangered amphibiansƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  found nowhere else in the world.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Here above, satellite map shows widespread deforestation on-going in the areas of proposed Eastern Sinharaja Block. In addition, it overviews ever increasing human settlement patterns around theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  forest reserve in an alarming state. Based on Data provided by Google sat:2010

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Most of the southern portion of the morning side has been deforested beyond the limits of natural recovery. Soil layer is destroyed with the compaction and moved awayƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by erosion . Academic studies shown that threatened woody species is poor in selectively logged forest even after eight years ( de soysa et all 1990). And as ICFCanada noted in their project paper : ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The 1000-ha Morningside property located just east of Sinharaja World Heritage Site was identified as a priority target for conservation, along with several nearby forest parcels. These lands are home to eleven globally threatened species (of amphibians, lizards and freshwater crabs) that are restricted to them. In addition, several globally threatened species with wider distributions also occur there. The headwaters of the Nilwala and Walawe Rivers originate on Morningside, and these forests serve to reduce flooding and erosion at lower elevations. .ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- [ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  -19 ]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Protected AreaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-An area of land and /or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity

, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-legalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-otherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ effective means.


ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What are the Legal and administrative issues related with theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Eastern Sinharaja?

why the Govt. institutions are failing to apply the solid solutions to protect this portion of the forest? And,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Legal designations and the Forest boundary.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Here below a photo taken by me during the 2010 December expedition.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It must be notedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  that Sinharaja Forest was surveyed and Demarcated in 1998 under Wet Zone Forest Conservation Program and also in 2004 under Forest Resource Management Project (FRMP). However, complete periphery of the forest is not yet surveyed and demarcated. Under such circumstances theEasternƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sinharajaforest area has not been demarked properly and does not currently benefit from ANY conservation interventions or assurance of the security of the borders.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Let us checkƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the main legislature properties of the SinharajaRain Forest. . The total of 11,187 Hectares were declared as Man and Biosphere reserve (MAB) in 1978. In addition the area of 8,864 Hectares within that MAB has been declared as Natural World Heritage Site (WHS) in 1988 (as notified in the Gazette paper 528/14) of which 6,092 Ha being forest reserve and 2,772 Ha a proposed reserve. Both MAB reserves and Natural World Heritage Sites are considered as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Protected AreasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ according to IUCN Protected area definition.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Again, in 1992 the state party included an adjoining forest extension within WHS, creating the Sinharaja National Heritage Wilderness Area (NHWA) of 11,187 Ha , formerlyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  theSinharajaForest reserve and coterminous with the Biosphere Reserve . It does NOT yet form an extension of the World Heritage site (- Forest department -2003) (this source has been extracted by the UNEP-WCMC Paper page 1)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ But the sections of Eastern Sinharaja were declared only as the Proposed Forest reserves thus do not covered by any credible protection. As noted inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  NCR, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-..Proposed reserve is an administrative rather than ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Legal Designation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- for forests originally intended for notification as forest reserves. Boundary demarcation as a prelude to notifications, never took place due to the tide of events over recent decades when forest land was released for use outside the forestry sector at an increasingly rapid rate-.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (NCR- page 141) it is also known that’ a conservation plan has been officially approved (Forest Department, 1986), implementation of which is being carried out under a cooperative agreement between IUCN and the Sri Lankan government, with additional funding from the Norwegian government (Hails, 1989). In order to ensure the strict protection of the reserve for scientific and aesthetic reasons, a scheme of zonation and management is proposed for areas outside the reserve. The creation and propagation of essential forest products, for sustained utilization, in areas outside the reserve is intended to meet local needs and thereby eliminate former dependence on resources within the reserve. Alternative strategies are either to establish a 3.2km-wide buffer zone round the reserve or to enlarge the area protected to about 47,380 ha, with the reserve forming a strictly protected core area and surrounding areas set aside as buffers for various uses. But at this moment I have no details about this older plan.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Here below; some extracts from early mentioned sources in relevance with Eastern Sinharaja.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ .ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Despite the exceedingly small land coverage, the Eastern Sinharaja is extremely rich in biodiversity and endemism. Even though Eastern Sinharaja, especially Morningside is an important habitat for endemic herpatofauna, this part of the MAB reserve has not received conservation attention. Besides, the eastern Sinharaja is confronting threats due to unprecedented human activitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦[1 ]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Because of the absence of physical protection and legal measures, the reserve is heavily encroached upon. Unlike the lowland section of the Sinharaja MAB reserve, the high-altitude forest has been subjected to human induced disturbances for a significant period. Part of the reserve has been replaced with tea, and most of it under-planted with cardamom (Elettaria cardamonium). Once the tea and cardamom cultivations are abandoned, the forest ecosystem does not regenerate. Instead, the sub-montane forests will be replaced by grasslands (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda, 1998).

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The inhabitants that live in contagious villages of the reserve constantly set fire to these grasslands. This not only destroys the habitats but also directly kills the reptile and amphibian species. Moreover, burning would hinder the development of the secondary successions. In certain situations, fire spreads even into the core-forest areas causing significant degree habitat destruction. Illegal gem mining is also proving to be a severe problem. Although, the gem pits turned out to be breeding grounds for species, the land degradation accounts for modification and destruction of many other natural amphibian niches (de Rosayro, 1954).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (ibid-)

The Eastern Sinharajaprotection and conservationƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  matter is not a separated issue from the complex paradigm that of Sri Lankan backward Political- Economic situation. AsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  US congressman Rob Portman noted in US congressional record in 12thƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  June 2001 for the reauthorization of Tropical forest conservation act;ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Regrettably, tropical forests are rapidly disappearing. The latest figures indicate that 30 million acres [—] were lost each year. The heavy ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-debt burdenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of many countries is a contributing factor because often they must resort to exploitation of timber, oil and precious metals to generate revenue to service their external debt. At the same time, poor governments trend to have few resources available to set aside and protect tropical forests..ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The main reason behind the majority of the conservation problems is the lack of a governing authority. Although The Forest Department is in custody of the entire Sinharaja MAB reserve and world heritage site, no protective measures have being taken so far concerning the eastern section (Wijesinghe and Dayawansa, 2002). Despite the fact that the Forest Department incorporated the Morningside area into the Sinharaja protective network, a significant but unapprised part of Morningside is still under private ownership. Such regions are still being deforested for cultivations. A significant, but ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unassessedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ proportion of this small extent of forest belongs to the Land Reforms Commission (LRC) of the government. In 2004, this authority sought to lease out this section for the purpose of complete clearance of the forest and plantain of tea. From the viewpoint of biodiversity conservation, fortunately this destructive program was aborted. (Bahir and Surasinghe, 2005)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. [-1-]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Professor Nimal Gunatilleke underlines in his research paper thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In early 2004 there was an even more sinister threat to the relict forest fragments adjoining the eastern boundary of the Sinharaja WHS, despite repeated requests and recommendations made to annex them to the the Sinharaja WHS to increase its conservation value. Instead, these state-owned forests land were blocked out and sold for tea and cardamom cultivation. This irresponsible act, amidst public protests, including those of scientists familiar with the biological wealth of the region and its conservation value, has irreparably damaged this fragile ecosystem, critically endangering some of the threatened animal and plant taxa exclusive to the Rakwan-Deniyaya hillsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. [-2-]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Additional Notes

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ it was with the assistance of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the first conservation plan for Sinharaja forest and its buffer zones was introduced in 1986.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As a part of the forest was logged between 1971 and 1977, about 65% of this area was under high forest while about 34% was modified and comprised with secondary forest and fern lands ( Banyard and Fernando, 1988)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Sinharaja forest is part of a group of forests called the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinharaja AdaviyaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which is about 47,350 Ha: Includes the Kudumeriya, Dellawa, Morapitiya-Runakanda, Diyadawa, Walankanda and Delgoda forests. ( Periodic review report of the Sinharaja Biosphere Reserve- December 2003-Sri Lanka Man and Biosphere Committee. By Jinie D S Dela,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  prepared for National Science Foundation-)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sinharaja WHS hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  been declared as a National Heritage wilderness Area (NHWA) under the National Heritage Wilderness Areas Act. Any excisionƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  to such an area is permissible only with the concurrence of parliament and the President of the country.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The 11,187 Ha of legally protected forest is the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-core AreaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of the Biosphere Reserve, while there is an external buffer zone outside this area (IUCN-1993)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Dawn of the Eco-Mafia. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Sinharaja

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Any singular gang or wider network committing ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Organized crimesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ that cause damage to the environment or engaged in any lucrative activity related with the environment, represent what is currently known as Eco-Mafia.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The term “Eco- mafia” is not rhetorical exaggeration.Indonesiahas one of the world’s largest areas of remaining Virgin Rain forests, but are being deforested by the timber mafia or by other mafia gangsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  working hand to hand with Palm oil corporations. The deforestation rate of the Indonesia-Borneo rain forests is something devastatingly increasing only ranking behind theBrazil.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  A Sophisticated Eco-mafia is highly prevalent in Brazil where the murder, forceful grabbing of lands, deploying threats, intimidations and even the terrorist acts are being used by the Eco-Mafia gangs. The killings of number of environmental activists includingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  comradeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Chico Mendes and the recent cases of forceful forest land grabbingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by Beef BaronsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  funded byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the cattle ranching companies are the dramatic examples of how dangerousƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Eco-Mafia can be.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Eco-Mafia pressurizing on the Sinharaja and expanding all over the country is a MAFIA organization in a very precise meaning of this word. The illegal constructions, underhand land acquisitions and wider networks made up with powerful businessmen for environment related lucrative activities further forecast the ever increasing power of theseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  local eco-mafia gangs.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Mafia at its core is about one thing ; the money . Like in a typical Mafia network there isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  a hierarchy, with higher-ranking person (politician, businessman or a village leader) making decisions that trickle down to the other members of the network. And its policies are always about oppression, arrogance, greed, self-enrichment, power and hegemony above and against all others . This is a system, in where’ the looters canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t function without corrupt politicians, a complacent propagandizing mass-media, or complicit enabling academics. Without doubt Sri Lankan Eco- mafia has been perfected of combining all these three sections.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, aroundƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the core of any mafia gang, there is a gravitation of other elements like joblessƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  village youth, monks, local businessmen, government officials or in some cases even the school children. They are simply identified as the associates. They are servitors of the core willingly or unwillingly andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  are systematically being manipulated by the core. To machinate all these elementsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  any mafia gang must have knowledge in politics. In above paradigm it is clear to us that Eco-Mafia is also in concomitance with the political forces; so in given occasions metamorphosing into a politico-mafia outfit and vice versa .ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  recent attempt to construct road across the Sinharaja between the Sooriyakanda and ILumbekanda areas was a good example of involvement of Politico-mafia at its best.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There have been number ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-politically involved actsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, which given access to these Eco tourist or plantation company networks into the Sinharaja region. The first was the granting of state owned lands to private ownerships under so-called 99-year lease agreement. One report hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  revealed that out of a total land extent of 408,487 hectares taken over by the Land Reforms Commission (LRC) under the Land Reforms Act of 1972, the 211,651 hectares been handed over to 20 ‘private plantation companies’ on a 99-year lease agreement . And it is well known most of these leased states are bordering to the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s most important Forests like Sinharaja, Knuckles and Peak Wilderness.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Apart of these leased forest lands,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is supposed that alsoƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the hidden corrupt practices have facilitated the land acquaintance. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ So, It need to be that proper investigation carried outƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  on these cases and identify the culprits and recover back the land portions they had illegally exploited.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Second , in years 2003- 2004 then Land Minister has allocated land blocks from theEastern SinharajaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  forestƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  that came under the Land Reform commission,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and given to his friends.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  These forest landsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  were located in the Kolonna District secretariat in Rathnapura district and Nildeniya in Deniyaya -Mathara district. . Behind these corrupt land deals there were politicians, their sons and even a high ranking Police officer now promoted to a DIG. Some of these forest lands were cleared and laterƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  would have been changed to the organic tea plantations. Most of these areas are un-accessible to outsider who interested on investigation. It is also suspicious that forest fires , especially in and around theEastern Sinharajahave been setƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by these criminalized nexuses to hide their illegal land-grabbing. It was in earlyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  2003; Rakwana LRC office at Embilipitiya had tried to alienate 502 Acres of forest landsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  to private entrepreneursƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  undercover.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Third was the infamous SRP or the Sinharaja Rain forest project (Rainforest Lodge Hotel Project) masterminded by the same individuals whom were behind the Kandalama Hotel construction. SRP was based inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Ensalwattha-Viharahena area in Kotapola division bordering the Sinharaja Rain forest. This project had two targets. First was the setting up an Eco-Lodge network and the second, the most gruesome one was the construction of one Genetic Lab with in the Sinharaja forest. It was in year 2006 there has been signedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU ) among Ceylon Chamber of commerce and the number of international organizations to carry this project ahead. And on 17 March 2009 the perpatuators were able to getƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  permission for construction from the Central environmental Authority (CEA) with undercover involvement of the higher chair person in the CEA at that time. AboutƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  506 Ha of forest and tea estate bordering to the Sinharaja NHWA has been reserved for this project . And into above 506 Ha it has illegally beenƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  included the 436 Ha of the Ensalwattha forest that has to be taken under Sinharaja main protective networkƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  according to the Cabinet orderƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No: PS/CS/26/2004 andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  President directives made in year 2004. However due to opposition of the Environmentalists proposed Genetic Lab was never built ; but Eco-lodges were set inside the lands now owned by a private Plantation Limited.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Now someone would ask, HowƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  could all this work inSri Lanka? It is a big combination, sophisticated. Just examine how did SRP worked. They have developed the Partner networks, meaning a cluster of various NGOs, companies and even the academics in the name of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-promoting the eco-tourism forƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  sustainable community development . Even the donations of various international organizations like of USAID (United statesagency for international development) directed or locally re-directed for theirƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  objectives. But ,perhaps most alarming factƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  is that the involvement ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  certain academics andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  environmentalistsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  . it is observedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  that also a famous Zoologist behind the SRP. Apart of this, some environmental related individuals were behind the money scams, especially directing the international donations toward above networks or by neutralizing the opposition of genuine environmentalists. Then theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  cover-ups are handed over to the certain mass medias, where the lucrative deeds are being justified with Gobbles type counter-propaganda . The State owned mass media has unethically been used under political pressure.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, it is like that Sri Lankan Eco-Mafia is formulating its’ Modus Operandi quite same as the neighboring Indian Eco-Mafia rather than copyingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the Eco-Mafias in western hemisphere. Because ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  social-cultural habitat assimilationƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  between both countries, where the underlying feudalistic ethos and Racial or religious bias can be manipulated to cover ups or even to justify theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  environmentally destructiveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  activities with ease . The road construction across theWilpatthuNational Park, granting of state owned forest lands to foreign Agro-tech companies in Somawathiya wild sanctuary , using of certain Buddhist monks as they did in Ilumbekanda or in Digamadulla can be taken as examples. Also the high ranking Police officersƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  have been involved as they tried in Morning Side area in yearsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  2003-2004.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A University of Indonesia study last year (2010) concluded that the Indonesian military acted as coordinator, financier and facilitator for illegal loggers in Borneo, where deforestation rates are among the fastest in the world. Reports underlined that Mafia activity in the environmental sector generated a turnover of 20.5 billion euros (24.7 billion dollars) in 2009 alone in Italy

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Not just Sinharaja but also Knuckels, Muthurajawela,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  KDNRain forestcomplex and Peak Wilderness (Sri Pada Adaviya) have been subjected to ruthless exploitation.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  If we let the Eco-Mafia to spread like a cancer, it would devour not only the environment, but also the academics, intellectuals, investigativeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  journalists and environmentalists as it did in many other countries. Just look at what happeningƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  especially inBrazil,Indonesia and inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Italy. Recently number of environmental activists and journalists whom investigated on illegal timber felling, waste managmentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and illegal plantations, have been killed byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  hiredƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  killers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It says thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ prevention is better than the cure. But the inability of Sri LankanƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  legal jurisdictions, neglianceƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and ever increasing inflation means the Eco-MafiA can flourish unabated. It had been several media reports, complains made on illegal land grabbing around the Sinharaja and knuckels range and the involvement of elected politicians. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Despite such emphasis placed on this dilemma, Sri Lankan citizens are actually little known about theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Eco-Mafia and politicians involvedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  in the first place. Let us wish that massesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  would make a strong stand before it would be too late.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The most important thing is that violations should be made public,The public should be allowed to know what is happening with our forests and who the perpetrators behind the violations areƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  -Bustar Maitar- An Indonesian Environmental Activist.

Sinharaja and the Accumulating Thermal Variations. An invisible threat!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Among all these tragedies, My preoccupation and fears rise not only seeing the cases of deforestation, species extinction and the alien interference of the Eco tourist and plantation sector mafia networks,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  butƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  also the increasing thermal variation patterns around a sensitive rain forest reserve like of Sinharaja. . In fact, the <Thermal Variation> is a reaction caused by the increasing human settlement and agriculture patterns around the reserve itself and further an effect of being isolated fromƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the adjoining forests. .

Globally, temperate broadleaved forest is considered to be the most disturbed biome, with small, scattered natural fragments. In theory, it is often assumed that any nature reserves have heavily exploited surroundings is prone to a dangerous thermal exposure . ( The standard temperature variation within the Sinharaja forest rangesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  from 19C to 34 centigrade. )

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ According to the researches done in other tropical regions around the world, it is observed thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ even after the removal of forests upper canopy , those plants that have thrived within the shade of that canopy, have been seen to stop photosynthesis and die due to changes in rainfall and solar radiation. some studies have shown that the temperature of a deforested area actually increases by 5ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚°F? (citation needed) over a year. An increase in surface temperature will lead to warm air which will rise, leading to low, cooler pressure areas. So the case with Sri Lanka ,within a shorter time these effects will trigger kind of cycle which will disastrous not only low country agriculture and tea cultivations but entire climatic system. For example ; by year 2080, rainfall inCosta Rica is expected to decrease by 5-10% and temperatures to rise by around 2.5ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ºC. what would be inSri Lanka?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It says that theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  humidity is almost constant for most of the year within the closed canopy cloud forests (citation needed). But, it is clear that any change in temperature and cloud cover would have a serious effect on the ecosystem. If temperatures increase, the clouds will rise to a higher altitude, and thermal variation with an increase ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  even 1-2ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ºC over the next decades would have a substantial impact on the diversity and composition of species in these kind of tropical cloud forests. Even in areas that experience a relatively low rise in temperature, some species will be threatened with extinction as they are unable to migrate further .

When I approached this issue to Dr Ivan Amarasinghe; a noted plant Biologist and a reputed ambassador, heƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  hasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  expressed his very concern on these thermal variations as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This can be potentially extremely serious not only to existing biodiversity of the Sinharaja and the nearby areas but also kick start a Meso-climatic change in the region that will completely devastate the area with timeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

At the moment of writing this article I have no Thermo- graphic data available on the region. Since the no-one has raised this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-thermal variationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ issue relative with the SinharajaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  before; I guess that there may be no any such data base to use at present. So it is better to do an aerial or a satellite thermo-graphic survey ( Using Infra-Red thermal Imaging ) which records and illustrate the measurements of HEAT EMISSIONS pouring into the atmosphere by Human interferences near by the forest (Tea factories, High ways, towns) and by other atmospheric factors like dry winds or high solar radiation.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Further, such survey would alsoƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  provide a regionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s thermo- geographic spatial image which can be used for many other purposes including the agricultural development planning.

Here below sample image of 3D thermal image .Variation in temperature and relative humidity with aspect.

For these twenty years, time to time, I have observed systematic extinction of mosses , lichens aquatic ferns and of epiphytesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  from the nearby areas of the forest.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  All these plants areƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  very sensitive to thermal exposure. So the variations of their habitats orƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the survivabilityƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  can be used as the indicators.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

It says thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Dominant species do not exist in tropical rainforests. Lowland Dipterocarp (Hora) forest can consist of many different species of Dipterocarpaceae, but not all of the same species. Trees of the same species are very seldom found growing close together. This bio diversity and separation of the species prevents mass contamination and die-off from disease or insect infestation. In most cases wild orchids grow in a bunch as a community.

The habitat of wild orchid species varies greatly, but they have some unifying characteristics . Some species depend on a specified Biome only. And generally there are blending habitat among some wild orchidsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and insects. If a specialized pollinator insect of a specified orchid plant has been removed from the eco-system by use of pesticides or by habitats lost that’ wouldƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  affect the orchid specie as well. It is well known that tropical insects habitat depend on an average temperature and on average of humidity. The increasing thermal effect will cause oscillations of the values of moisture. In that case the insects may be incapable of completing their molting process having lost sufficient moisture in the air. Also some wild orchids depend on their fungal partners hence their seeds can not germinate until they have been infected by a fungal species that supplies nutrients for the seed. And some other fungal species inhabiting right on the orchids roots help the plant by condensing the moisture and by fog interception.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

But, most devastating effect on Orchids could have been caused by theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  thermal exposure and by dry wind hit direct on the plant tissues.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Being an Orchid lover from my childhood, I had a great collection of orchids. About twenty years ago, one of my friends brought aboutƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  12-15 species of jungle orchids from the Sooriyakanda .ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There were some rare Dendrobiums, Cymbidiums and even few Coelogynes.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  When I asked how he got these, he just said me that he was able to collect them within two hours in close proximity of the Sinharaja boundry near the construction site where he worked. But now neither Single plant of Dendrobium Maccarthiae can be found in that area. And, I think also the rare orchids like Agrostophyllum ZelanicumƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  gone extinct except in some most remotest angles within the Rakwana massif. Both of these orchid species were endemic to Sri Lanka.

Other indicator was the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-yield dropƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  local Tea cultivations . Number of villagers, including the veteran and one of Sinharaja icons, Warukandeniye Liyana Mahatthaya- Mr Kumarage told me that their local tea yield is declining since 15 -10 years even though they are using the modern methodologies in their cultivations. The Temperature affects tea yield by influencing rate of photosynthesis and controlling growth and dormancy, but very higher temperatures are unfavorable for optimum photosynthesis more so if it is accompanied by low humidity as now happening in the Deniyaya, Neluwa, Rakwana and Kalawana areas. TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  impact of climatic variations on the tea industryƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  was studied by Dr: Wijeratne (1996). He found that tea yield is sensitive to temperature, drought, and heavy rainfall. An increase in the frequency of droughts and extreme rainfall events could result in a decline in tea yield, which would be greatest in the low-country regions (<600 m).Under these circumstances, the low country tea industry in Sri Lanka is clearly vulnerable and subsequently will drag country toward greater economic, social, and environmental problems.

I predict that, unless action is taken, these thermal effect will continue to increase to an Omega Point , from where there will be no way recover back.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ( 10- October -2010-ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  updated in September 2011 )

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Solutions

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka has been classified as a biodiversity hot spot, which means, it is one of the 25 richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on earth. According to one research the Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s primary rainforest (virgin forest)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  total value has been reduced to approximately 6% of its original size andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  also the remaining 188 forest patches are small and fragmented ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” putting a huge strain on the animal populations that reside in rainforest areas.

It is clear that’ If the <Buffer zone> ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ was properly implemented/ extended, andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the proper jungle corridors were setup , the damage causedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by above thermal variations and species habitat alterations could have been minimized and even avoided.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For a forest reserve with the extent ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sinharaja forest, it isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  generally suggested a Buffer zone ranging minimum of 500 meters width from the edge of the reserve. (citations needed)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  . ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Since some of the lands edging with the reserve are private properties, the suggested extensions of buffer zone in such places could be partly managed by both Government and private ownership to whom could be providedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  a compensation, or in best way these private lands can be acquired by the Forest departmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  asƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  suggested by the Sinharaja Management Plan [3] . Further as an additional step, it is better the promotion of agro-forestry in surrounding villages thus accumulating the so-called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-green massƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ around the Reserve itself .

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Apart fromƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  proper Buffer zone implementation, it is necessary to set well designed jungle corridors network between and among the forest fragments located in this whole region , thus atleast virtually providing the lost status of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinharaja AdaviyaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ to these scattered and now almost disappearing small forests again. These jungle corridorsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  would provide ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚foraging habitatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ for many different species. For example, ifƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  we can link up Sinharaja with Suriyakanda reserve through the Ilumbekanda forest and from there to Veddagala vast jungle tracks those are in contact with Adams Peak Sanctuary (22,380ha), that option will facilitate movements of the Elephants as well.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Unfortunately, the Handapaan Ella ,Sooriyakanda,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Kabaragala, Abbey Rock , Gongala-Caledonia forest block and even the entire Eastern Sinharaja WHS were excluded from the NCR. So the entire Rakwana-DeniyayaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  forest complex has been ignored. All of these forest fragments composed withƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sub- Mountainous forests and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ sub-mountainous Grass Lands and represent unique Bio-climatic features and host exceptional number of biotic species endemic only to these forest patches .ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Some ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  imminent and most necessary solutions are already given in the paper ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinharaja Management Plan ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-.prepared by Mr. E A P N Edirisinghe. But since that plan has not taken to account some sections , I would like to include them here as following.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 1-Annex the entire Handapan Ella- Sooriya kanda and Gongala forest areas to the Sinharaja forest complex. (The GongalaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Hills ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”peak reaches at 1,358 meters, is the easternmost edge of theSri Lanka wet zone and the Gin Ganga river originates from there.)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 2- Exercise the strict regulations and limitations on the proposed Eco-tourist projects. (The above Sinharaja Management plan has not foreseen the possible negative impacts of the Eco-tourism)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In conclusion, what we need here is an genuine ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-political willƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ and a correct and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-realisticƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ policy for the Sinharaja forest and her surrounding cluster rain forest conservation by demarking and legalizing all of them into a single contiguous forest Network. Since these Governmental- institutional actions will take place on the ground, we ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the environmental friendly massesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ must push our ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Direct ActionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ through the,

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 1– Mass education- Propaganda activity covering the Schools, Universities, villages. Use the Internet, Newspapers and other electronic media for that objective. This must be carried on not only in national level but also internationally.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 2– Pressure the institutions, politicians and officials toward the ground solutions, especially to activate the solutions acquainted by the cabinet paper No: PS/CS/26/2004 Dated 22 July 2004

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 3-Complain the crimes and illegal activities those have been carrying out by Eco- tourism , corrupt Politicians, Commercial agriculture companies or any otherƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  to the local authorities and especially to the International organizations likeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  IUCN, FAO, UNESCO etc.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 4– Getting Donations / funds for the research, conservation and reforestation and directing them to the universities, Government institutions, village communities and to NGOs those are genuine in the effort.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The time is stretching the vital space and very existence of theSinharajaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Rain Forest. When I have been there in last December , villagers told me that there is a small herd of three wild Elephants; two adults and one jumbo wanderingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  in the jungle. But sadly one of them have been shot dead recently . Ancient Sinhalese had worshiped this magnificent SinharajaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  with adjoining sacred Sri Pada Adaviya jungle with much respect, and believed both of forests are beingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  presided by the God Suman Saman; according to some legendsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the younger brother of King Ravana who ruled Sri Lanka long ago . It says that the Elephant indeed the revered sacred vehicle of the GodƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Saman and those of whom carry misdeeds in the forest would be cursed upon .

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Even in her impenetrable deepness, among the kisses made of perfume of the wild orchids; that attractive vivid green has a kind of tone thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  you can get lost in. Then, you would notƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  be able to stop falling in love with her. All hail the queen of SinharajaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦!!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ -Sumal

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (

References and my notes–

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 1 ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 2006SabaragamuwaUniversity Journal.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Diversity, Threats and Conservation of Herpetofauna in and around theEasternƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sinharaja _.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ByƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Thilina D surasinghe & Ravindra L Jayarathna

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 2-Forestry policy, non timber forest products and the rural economy in the Wet Zone forests inSri Lanka by Cyril Bogahawatta.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 3-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚Sinharaja Management PlanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by E.A.P.N Edirisinghe. Published by Sri Lanka forest department in 2009

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 4 NCR ( National conservation Review); Technically named ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Designing an optimum areas system for sri lankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s natural Forests-Volume 1. This was a project of the forest department of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment and has been prepared by IUCN- the world conservation union and the world conservation monitoring centre (WCMC) for the food and agriculture organization (FAO) of the United Nations-July 1997. (15)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 5-Forest resource extraction by Local communities a comparative dynamic analysis by Herath M Gunatilake and Ujjayant Chakravorty

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 6– 64% of sinharaja trees are endemic and many of them are rare. This reserve is also home to 23% of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s endemic animals, including 85% of countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s endemic birds and over 50% of its endemic mammals, reptiles and butterflies. [ Report :United nations Environmental Programme-World conservation Monitoring centre]

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 7– World Heritage Nomination-IUCN summery 405; Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka) Summery prepared in April 1987.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 8-Please Compare historical image map with the updated Sinharaja satellite mapƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  to understandƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the deforestation ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sinharaja.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 9--Coordinating research and management to enhance protected Areas-byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  David Harmon

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 10– News Release- ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Fighting for Forest FrogsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (26-April-2009). The IUCNƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Red ListƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  of threatened species 2010-3

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 11– Ensalwatta and Sellakanda estates are in Kotapola DS Division. Most of residential people are the labors working in these Estates.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 12– There is also an additional scientific nomination to this kind ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  forests.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Closed Canopy Cloud ForestsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 13- the copies of this article has been sent to UNESCO,CAO (Compliance advisor Ombudsman) and to FAO as well to media networks

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 14- Contreras- Hermosilla, A. 2000, The underlying causes of forest decline , Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 15- A ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-riparian forest bufferƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ is an area of trees and shrubs located adjacent to streams, lakes, ponds, and Wet lands. Riparian zones are ecologically diverse and contribute to the health of other aquatic ecosystems by filtering out pollutants and preventing erosion. Also a system to mitigate nutrient flow to soil and water.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 16-Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”BiodiversityƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Chapter 17 : by Ranjith Mahindapala.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 17- please refer to the original research papers for additional and complete information.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 18-WCMC- World ConservationƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Monitoring Centre

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 19-

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 20- About 420 million years ago, during the Silurian Period, ancient plants and arthropods began to occupy the land. Over the millions of years that followed, these land colonizers developed and adapted to their new habitat. The first forests were dominated by giant horsetails, club mosses, and ferns that stood up to 40 feet tall.

Life on Earth continued to evolve, and in the late Paleozoic, gymnosperms appeared. By the Triassic Period (245-208 mya), gymnosperms dominated the Earth’s forests. In the Cretaceous Period (144-65m mya), the first flowering plants (angiosperms) appeared. They evolved together with insects, birds, and mammals and radiated rapidly, dominating the landscape by the end of the Period. The landscape changed again during the Pleistocene Ice Ages ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ the surface of the planet that had been dominated by tropical forests for millions of years changed, and temperate forests spread in the Northern Hemisphere.

21-Adaption to the threats of climate change- plantation crops with the special reference to Tea.-Dr Wijerathna et all.

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