Illegal Land Grabs Pose Threat To Proposed Elephant Management Reserve


September 2, 2019


Environmentalists claims that several lands belonging to the proposed elephant management reserve are under threat due land grabbing by group of individuals. Environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara further claims that the forest land belonging to proposed elephant management reserve are being sold as Nindgam land and Walawa Mahaweli zone lands.

“25 acres of forest lands from iGonnoruwa to panaweva been sold to a businessman in Colombo, another 25 acres been plotted to sold by a local politician from ketanweva to malla area.” Sajeewa further states that Elephant pass corridors also have been blocked in the proposed elephant management reserve. These corridors used by elephants to cross to several national parks in the area during night. Sajeewa further states that the corridors been blocked for several ongoing housing projects in the area currently and has put electric fences in the area. The massive deforestation and land grabbing in the southern province have caused massive destruction and has increased human-elephant conflict.

During past 3 years 26 elephants were killed in the proposed area and several people got disabled due to elephant attacks in the area. Commercial cultivation also have started in some of the areas in the proposed reserve.