Environmentalists Writes To UNESCO Against The Construction Of Road In Sinharaja


The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the unique remaining virgin tropical rainforest in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst commercial logging by its inaccessibility and was designated as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1989.

According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is of ‘significant concern’. The IUCN report notes that ‘The value of Sinharaja as a natural world heritage site continues to be recognized by the discovery of several endemic species of plants and animals since the declaration of this forest as a world heritage in 1988.

The Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) in Sri Lanka, is protesting against the construction of a road in the buffer zone and inside the Sinharaja World Heritage Site.In a letter sent to UNESCO headquarters, Ravindra Kariyawasam of CENS says construction of the road by Sri Lanka Army Engineers has commenced on August 10. The road building is taking place from Lankagama to Deniyaya and has been ordered by the government of Sri Lanka, he says. This is the same road that they started to build through Sinharaja in 2013, says.