Ecosystem Restoration? Stop the Continuing Destruction

The laudable theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day is Ecosystem Restoration. What a noble ideal but is it applicable to Sri Lanka? In the last two years, the country has seen widespread destruction of both its terrestrial and marine habitats and environments. This devastation must be stopped first before any thought can be given to restoration. True, there are official policies claiming the intent to increase the forest cover to 33% from the present 30% but these are just pieces of paper based on inaccurate data because the existing so-called 30% has been calculated by counting monoculture plantations and home gardens. What has been calculated is tree cover and not forests. As a result, the true forest cover has been estimated by independent sources to be less than 16%.

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