Sri Lanka

Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve Threatened by Aquaculture Park

The Vidattaltivu Nature Reserve was gazetted in 2016. But within just one year of its declaration as a protected area, there are plans to degazette a 1000 ha area from its very centre for a fishery project that includes prawn farming; a fishery that has a history of failures in Sri Lanka and across Asia, while also resulting in the widespread destruction of mangroves. The National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) has developed a proposal for a 1000 ha Aquaculture Industrial Park

PUCSL decision is model for good governance

The decision to exclude coal from Sri Lanka’s Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2018- 2037 by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka is not only a massive victory for the environment, but also a win for good governance in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s interest in building coal power capacity and establishing new power plants was a myopic and regressive in light of the global shift away from coal power, even in heavily industrialized countries such as China

Bodhinagala: A Model for Forest Patch Conservation

Last week, I took a short day trip to the charming little forest patch, the Bodhinagala Forest Reserve. Also home to a monastery, there is an abundance of people around it and plenty of edge habitat. I realized just how sub-urban it is only when a motorcycle hurriedly drove past while I was photographing a pair of Sri Lankan Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis), who did not seem to bat an eyelid at the noisy diminutive vehicle revving beneath them. Despite this,

Status of Waste Management in Sri Lanka

Given the recent calamity at Meethotamulla and the ill-advised decision to dump garbage in Muthurajawela, a wetland sanctuary under the Fauna and Flora Ordinance, it is useful to consider the background to waste management in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka generates 7000MT of solid waste per day with the Western Province accounting for nearly 60% of waste generation.  Each person generates an average of 1-0.4kg of waste per day.  According to the Waste Management Authority and the Central Environmental Authority, only half

Sri Lanka’s Ocean Conference Commitments

Last week saw the first UN Ocean Conference, where heads of states, civil society organizations, private corporations and scientists came together to reiterate the importance of the ocean and to facilitate actions for the protection and conservation of oceans, seas and other marine resources.  The need for large scale intervention and action to save oceans is pressing. From ocean acidification to mismanagement of marine protected areas to exploitation of fish resources, the threats that this vast vital system faces are

Trashing an Ocean: Sri Lanka’s Marine Pollution Problem

Henderson Island, a tiny remote island in the far flung reaches of the South Pacific Ocean, should bear no trace of human civilization. Instead, the tropical island is covered by a staggering 38 million pieces of plastic trash.  Marine debris is mostly made up of plastic, from waterproof sheets to plastic bottles to miniscule micro-plastics found in cosmetic products. Buoyant and durable, plastic is dispersed over vast distances and is found in the most impenetrable corners of the ocean: even

Save Our Forests to Save Our Future – Environment Day Message from EFL Chairman

An Ecosystem Based Adaptation Plan against Climate Change and Natural Disasters The weather patterns we are now experiencing is the new ‘norm’; climate change is here to stay. It’s the present, not in the future. Climate projections show that we can expect more severe, unpredictable weather patterns now and in the future. Gone are the days when farmers, businesses, and people could plan their lives and livelihoods based on relatively predictable seasons. Instead, the ‘new norm’ will be erratic and heavy bouts

World Environment Day 2017 – Working #WithNature

#WithNature. A simple enough starting point to begin a narrative about where you are, or so the UN thinks. Connecting people to nature is the theme for 2017’s World Environment Day (June 5th) and the aim is to get people to tell stories of their relationships with nature, to celebrate nature and to reconnect with it. It’s the ‘people’s day’ for owning their part as agents of change to protect our shared environment. [1] The aims are admirable

Landslides damage homes in Kithulkanda – Quarrying to be halted for two weeks

Heavy rains caused landslides in Kithulkanda, Meepe last Thursday, damaging several houses. Previously EFL had conducted a site visit to this area to investigate the exploitative mining on the other side of the Kithulkanda mountain in Meepe , where 15 out of 16 quarries were reportedly violating the terms of their permits. While the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau stated that they would revoke the permits of 15 quarries, EFL learned that they had given permission for 12 quarries to

Putting Biodiversity on the Map

Funded by the Japan Biodiversity Secretariat, Environmental Foundation Limited generated 16 maps based on biodiversity and socio-economic data as well as development plans of the government of Sri Lanka. These maps include existing protected areas, proposed gaps in protected areas, forest areas important for erosion and flood control, habitat suitability and corridor models, as well as areas identified for commodity agriculture and large scale infrastructure. The purpose of this project was to understand where biodiversity targets will conflict with