Intensifying Human Elephant Conflict


Human Elephant conflict is worsening day by day and the most intensified year of human elephant conflict was previous 2019 with deaths of 405 wild elephants and 121 humans , environmentalist and the convener of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms(Monlar), Sajeewa Chamikara recently said.

In a statement, he further added that due to the decisions of current and previous governments, the situation of  the human elephant conflict has been worsening throughout the country for decades and the solutions suggested by environmentalists and and other suitable parties have been neglected for a long period.  Highlighting the proposed Wild Elephants Management Reserve(WEMR) of Hambantota, Chamikara pointed out that due to the inefficiency andweaknesses of governments and related officials WEMR getting too late to implement in the ground level.

“In the years of 2009- 11 after a long research the expert team named as GajaMithuro prepared the proposal of WEMR and regional wild life officers endorsed it and sent it to the higher level officers for the approval of  higher level officers .However, so far, there has been no positive response from the higher levels of wildlife department “, he further added.

WEMR is the proposed wildlife reserve which connecting three national reserves, Udawalawe,Lunugamwehera and Bundala.From WMER it is expected that elephant passes or elephant migration point will be protected and due to the migration ability of elephants in large three forest reserves,the elephants will not try to invade the villages and destroy the farm land of the villagers.

“Main reasons for the human elephant conflicts are invading forest land of elephants and blocking their migratory pathway”, Monlar further explaining. Monlar further accusing to the government that government is allowing is allowing private companies to grab the lands belonging to WMER for their industries like commercial crop plantations and solar power projects.

“Giving the lands to the companies worsening the situation of Hambantota district`s human elephant conflict and  it risks the lives of both human and elephants.”, Monlar says in a statement.

They alledged that politicians belong to both government and opposition parties have been blessing to illegal land grabbing and deforestation of national reserves for commercial purposes