Sinharaja’s Downfall: Paradise Paved in Asphalt

There are places on Earth that hold outstanding universal value to humanity – these are named World Heritage Sites and protected for the benefit of generations to come. One such World Heritage Site is the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, one of the last remaining virgin rainforests in Sri Lanka, which is home to over 60 per cent of the country’s endemic flora and fauna.

However, this virgin rainforest and its treasure-trove of species have come under numerous threats in the past decades, as selfish individuals and Governments alike try to stake their claim to this ecosystem under the guise of ‘development’.

The most recent of these ‘developments’ to cause outrage amongst environmentalists and enthusiasts alike was the construction of a road from the village of Lankagama, located on Sinharaja’s border, to Deniyaya. According to activists, while this road already exists as a small eight-foot road with 1.1km of it running through the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the Engineering arm of the Sri Lanka Army had been tasked with paving the road in concrete and widening it to 20 feet.

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