Over 8,000 hectares of forest cover is destroyed each year in Sri Lanka. This was revealed in Colombo on 9 May by the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), which is supporting Sri Lanka to reduce forest destruction and emission of greenhouse gases.
It was said that the development projects, road building, mass scale cultivation and housing construction were the reasons for the deforestation.
The highest percentage of deforestation has been reported from the Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Hambantota, Puttalam and Ampara Districts.
UN-REDD revealed these facts at the function held in the BMICH to mark UN-REDD’s action plan on minimizing deforestation. The plan was designed by the Forest Conservation Department and the Wildlife Department with the assistance of environmental organizations and UN-REDD.
Speaking at the ceremony, Director General of Forest Conservation, Anura Hathurusinghe, said the government had aimed at increasing Sri Lanka’s present forest cover of 29.7% to 32% by 2022. He added that 1% increase of forest cover meant new forest to the tune of 65,000 hectares.