Monthly Archives: March 2017

Aliens in Our Waters: Marine Invasive Alien Species

Alien is a term everyone is familiar with – creatures with long limbs and large eyes come to mind, like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial from the popular 80s movie. While the existence of extra terrestrial life has been long debated, Sri Lanka is vulnerable to a very real threat from alien species of a different nature. These organisms travel a considerably smaller distance on earth (compared to E.T. from outer space) to colonise Sri Lankan soil and waters. Simply put, an

Lecture on Spatial Planning for Prioritizing Biodiversity Conservation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka may be a global biodiversity hotspot, but national development projects, encroachment for cash crops and expanding human settlements threaten the fragmented habitats that foster a rich variety of rare and endangered species. EFL conducted a pilot study involving a national scale mapping of biodiversity conservation priorities in the light of development goals and socio-economic data. By identifying biodiversity priorities and aligning them with national planning strategies, we can ensure that Sri Lanka’s development does not compromise its rich biological

Invasive Alien Species: A Silent Threat to Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity

We have all heard of “invasive species”, but what are they really, and why are they such a big problem? Through natural and man-made processes, many species are introduced to areas outside of their normal range – these are known as non-native, or “alien” species. Many of these alien species will not be able to adapt to the new environment at all, and may eventually die off. Today, as with the rest of the world, hundreds of new species of

Strengthening the Approval Process for Mini Hydro Power Plants – Phase by Phase Recommendations

The proliferation of lucrative yet often ill-planned and destructive mini hydro power plants in the wet zone region has been a serious environmental and social concern, as these projects can destroy endemically rich and biodiverse habitats in fragmented forest patches, while causing problems with the water supply for neighbouring settlements. EFL investigated many cases of destructive mini hydropower plants, including a project on the Koskulana River, bordering Sinharaja Forest Reserve which eventually led to litigation against the project developers. In

International Day of Action for Rivers: Cleaning up Sri Lanka’s most polluted river

Originating in the Sri Pada mountain range, the Kelani River threads its way through the most densely populated and industrialized parts of the Western Province, and flows through the capital city to reach the Indian Ocean. From fisheries to hydropower, the Kelani River is of vital economic importance as it is not only a source of water for the myriad of factories and industries that occupy its banks but is also used by these industries as a dumping ground for