Plans to develop Matara forests methodically

By Nimal Palihawadane - Akuressa Corr.

With the completion of the survey of forest coverage in the Matara district, the Department of Forest Conservation plans to develop the forest reserves in the area by completely banning encroachment by outsiders.

A gazette notification is due to be issued shortly in this connection.

The area with an extent of 18,000 hectare of forest in the Matara District, under the Department of Forest Conservation had been reduced drastically due to unauthorised clearing for tea and cinnamon cultivation by villagers living in close proximity to the State owned forests. This problem has posed a serious threat to the environment.

The authorities are now determined to put a stop to this illegal activity after the forest boundaries were properly marked. The people too are also to be educated by the Forest Department on the importance of protecting forests for safeguarding nature and the environment.

A one-day workshop for media personnel in the Matara District was recently conducted in this connection at the Bio Diversity Education Park at Oliyagomkele State Forest Reserve at Wilpita, Akuressa, organised by the Department of Forest Conservation, Matara regional office.


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