In 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic devastated the world and under its malevolent cloak, Sri Lanka’s environment, wildlife and wilderness had to face some of the greatest threats they have ever had. Not a day went by without the media highlighting some environmental catastrophe – a forest illegally cleared, a pristine beach desecrated or an elephant or leopard killed. Sadly, conservation management decisions seem now to be made at the political level. Politicians only look to the next election and the perpetuation of their power. The relevant institutional heads, too, seem content to pander to political whim to safeguard their positions and pensions, irrespective of the responsibilities to which they have been appointed. History will be harsh on them all but by then, they would have overseen the greatest man-made environmental catastrophe that this country has ever seen; a calamity from which there will be no return.
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