Add Adjoining Forests To Sinaharaja Reserve- Haritha Mithuro

Kalana Krishantha

January 13, 2022


The environmental organization named as “Sinharaja Haritha Mithuro”, recently expressed their concern regarding adjoining forest lands to Sinharaja and importance of adding those lands to the Sinaharaja forest reserve legally according to the cabinet decision taken in 2004. They elaborated however the related gazette was not issued, so the approval was futile.

In a statement, “Haritha Mithuro” organization pointed out that in 2017, the part of those forest lands of other districts excluding Rathnapura were added to the Sinaharaja forest reserve by Yahapalanaya government. They emphasize that however, the adjoining forest lands to Sinaharaja which belong to the Rathnapura district (1512.4 hectares) have not been added to Sinharaja forest reserve so far.

As a very urgent step, Haritha Mithuro proposing to add adjoining Gongala Mountain Range and its forest area to Sinaharaja forest reserve. The Gonagala forest and mountain range is located at the upper border of Sinharaja which extend from Rakwana to Matara district area. The Gonagala mountain range has rich biodiversity and lot of endemic species live in the area. The mountain range is important for the sustainability of the Sinaharaja forest reserve ,the Nilwala river as well as climate of the area. They warn that due to the harmful human influence to the area, the biodiversity of the mountain range is under the risk and the immediate solution should be adding it to the Sinaharaja forest reserve and taking steps for immediate conservation.

The organization proposing authorities to add adjoining forest areas of Rathnapura district to Sinaharaja, identifying and protecting new buffer zones and making awareness among the villagers who are living nearby Sinaharaja to make their life style friendlier with nature while ensuring the material and human resources to protect the Sinaharaja reserve.