News

Strengthening Socio-Ecological Resilience in the Knuckles Conservation Area

The Knuckles Conservation Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site and due to its diverse natural vegetation, which includes lowland rainforests and montane forests, the records a very high and unique level of biodiversity. It contains charismatic species such as the Knuckles pygmy lizard, Knuckles rock frog, leopards, and elephants. Despite its importance, vital areas of the Knuckles Region have become degraded due to human activities such as encroachment, illegal logging, land clearing, tea planting and cardamom cultivation. The buffer

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

EFL Files Case Against Garbage Dumping in Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited filed a Fundamental Rights application in the Supreme Court (SC (Ref) No. 243/2017 pending support) objecting to the illegal disposal of solid waste in the Muthurajawela sanctuary, the Kotikawatta Garbage Disposal Site and several other locations, on the 14th of July 2017. The respondents for the case include, among others, the Central Environmental Authority, the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Governments, Colombo Municipal Council and Urban Development Authority. The grievances highlighted in the petition include

Encroachment Continues to Plague Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve

The Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve is nestled in the Central Highlands, covering 1142ha of land in both the Nuwara Eliya and Badulla districts. The upper montane rainforests of the reserve are rich in biodiversity, with 40% of woody plants being endemic. These pygmy forests house endemic species such as the highland grey slender lorris and purple-faced langur, as well as Sri Lanka’s apex predator, the Sri Lankan leopard. This protected area is also a catchment for the Uma Oya, which

Sand Mining Continues to Degrade Maha Oya in Katana

Intensified development in Sri Lanka has increased the demand for river sand which is a raw building material. The laws and regulations of the country on river sand mining are governed by the Mines and Minerals Act No. 33 of 1992 as amended in 2009 and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) and relevant Divisional Secretariats are the authorized government bodies to issue permits/licenses to persons involved in such activities. Excessive sand mining is a common practice along the

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

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

Kotikawatta Garbage Dump: Another Victim of Sri Lanka’s Garbage Epidemic

A little more than 3km from Meethotamulla, the towering garbage dump that led to the loss of 30 lives, is another stark example of Colombo’s urban solid waste mismanagement: the Kotikawatta dumping ground.  Kotikawatta – Mulleriya Pradeshiya Sabha began dumping waste in Kotikawatta in 2007, in the Kotikawatta cemetery which was located at a higher elevation, yet with time the garbage began to spread to the lower paddy fields that belonged to 15- 20 private landowners. While the extent of