Capacity Building and Training for Local Officials in the Identification of Tree and Timber Species and Sustainable Forest Management in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Sri Lanka
Following the end of a 30- year conflict in Sri Lanka, there was a shortage of information and relevant training with regard to the identification of tree and timber species, and their protected status as stipulated by different Government authorities, by local officials in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
There is often a lack of communication and knowledge in the identification of different tree species, which provides loopholes for issuing timber permits, causing a serious conservation issue. This paves way for protected trees to be cut or transported without accurate permits, due to lack of awareness by local officials.
Many local officials are also unaware of the prevailing legislature related to trees, forestry and cutting trees for timber, as well as on the protected statuses of different tree species, within the North and East Provinces. Related legislature would include: Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO), National Forestry Policy of Sri Lanka, Felling of Trees (Control) Act and associated District level legislations.
Rationale for the Proposed Action:
EFL proposes to conduct research into identifying, studying and compiling an informative book on different tree and timber species, their protected status and the related legislature. This would in turn, help local officials enhance their knowledge base and make informed decisions regarding conservation of protected species and using timber for commercial and domestic purposes.
EFL also proposes to conduct training to develop institutional capacity of local government offices and personnel entities in sustainable forest management and conservation, which would widen their awareness and knowledge on related issues, as well as support the enforcement of related legal policies.
The project is expected to occur over a 9-month period, inclusive of awareness programmes, research and publication of the book.
The awareness training will be conducted in 8 Districts: 5 in the North and 3 in the East, with each training session comprising 2 workshops, one for senior level officers and the second for other relevant officials.