Govt. refutes claims that Sri Lanka’s forest cover has reduced to 16%
Posted on January 9th, 2023

Courtesy The Morning

Govt. refutes claims that Sri Lanka’s forest cover has reduced to 16%

 Conservator General of Forests K.M.A Bandara has refuted media reports implying that Sri Lanka’s forest cover has reduced to 16%.

He said this in response to a query made regarding the media report on the instructions of President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

The Presidential Secretariat had focused its attention on these reports published in the media, it added.

The assessment of forest cover is carried out every five years and the census conducted in 2020 is scheduled to be completed in June this year. According to the census conducted in 2015, the natural forests of Sri Lanka stood at 29.15% (1,912,970 hectares) of the total land extent, according to the PMD.

The Conservator General of Forests also said that although there has been some reduction in the amount of forest area due to various development and human activities in the country, there has definitely been no decrease in the amount of forest area up to 16% as stated in media reports.

According to media reports, if the forest area in Sri Lanka is 16% of the total land extent, then the existing forest area in the country should be 1,040,000 hectares, which would mean that 872,970 hectares of forest have been destroyed during the seven years from 2015, which translates to 124,710 hectares per year and 341 hectares of forest being destroyed per day, it mentioned further.

He also said that the method used to assess forest area should have been described in the presentation of data on forests, such as the definition of forests, the method of estimating forest size, and the estimation of forest size. However, there is no source from which the relevant data was obtained in the media reports suggesting that the forest cover had decreased.

The Conservator General further stated that if there is widespread forest destruction, as reported in the media, it should have been observed by the Department of Forest, the Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Sri Lanka Police, and the Sri Lanka Air Force, which monitors forest area from the air. However, such extensive forest destruction has not been reported to any of these institutions. He also stated that no such forest destruction was observed during the Forest Department’s activities related to the updating of forest maps.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress