Sri Lankan government is planning to change the existing fauna and flora act, in order to enable the use of buffer zones of nature reserves in the future projects. Naturalist seen the danger of the upcoming changes with rules and regulation has protested against the proposed change of regulations.
As per the regulation that prevail at the moment construction of any kind is not allowed within the 500 meters of buffer zone.
Deforestation is a serious threat for the environment in the country. Therefore what authorities need to do is strengthening the existing rules and regulation to protect the environment.
Recently a proposed road, which was going through the Sinharaja was stopped by court order after the complaints lodged by naturalists in the country. Proposed road was planned to be constructed through the Last remaining primeval rain forest in the southern part of the island.
Earlier in a rural road development project funded by ADB a new road was constructed through a secondary forest in the Galle district, which resulted in removing 26 valuable trees.
A similar road construction was undertaken by the Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka, through another portion of the same forest was stopped with the intervention of Police and people in the village.
A rural electrification project with the help of ADB was initially planned through a forest in southern Sri Lanka. If it was implemented a large number of valuable trees could have been removed from the forest. But the environment authority intervened and diverted the cause of the line to an alternative route rescuing the part of the valuable forest.
Legal action against encroaches
Mean while environmentalists in Sri Lanka are accusing several people, who are actively engage in clearing the protected forest within the Ruhunu National Park, Sri Lanka. According to the information of The Nations, local news portal, as much as 20,000 acres have been cleared so far and surprisingly the Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) is not taking any action against it.
The areas encroached so far are located in Niyadella, Demodara, Upaliya, Kaludiyaella, Thenagallanda, Bopitiya, Ethimale, and Kotiyagala areas. Land cleared believed to be in very high value since its proximity to Buttala international air port due to complete in November 2012. Cleared land is in the Buttala Divisional Secretariat in the Monaragala District .According to the Environment Conservation Trust, cleared area is divided into separate blocks of 10 to 300 acres. Cleared areas are already being used in gem mining and Chena cultivation according to The Nations.