Connect with us


WNPS Forges New Groundthrough Private Land Acquisition for Biodiversity Conservation



Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) is pleased to sign their inaugural Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), under the PLANT Guarantee Company.

PLANT – WNPS’ Preserving Land and Nature Trust, was set up with the aim of acquiring privately owned lands for the purpose of conservation (outright or on a long-term lease) and to collect funds through the Trust, to purchase lands for the purpose of conservation. Sustainable forest-grown Ceylon tea brand Kaley Teas will be partnering with WNPS on this ground-breaking PLANT initiative.

In a time of rapid development and increasing demand for resources such as now, land conservation and reforestation play an important role in safeguarding wildlife habitats. Protecting unharmed forests is also among the most efficient and cost-effective ways to combat climate change. The PLANT (Preserving Land and Nature Trust) strategy is to acquire as many acres of private land as possible for conservation purposes under a Single Purpose Vehicle (either through lease or outright donation of land and by collecting funds under the Trust for purchasing of land). Acquiring private land for the purpose of biodiversity conservation is not a new concept and is practiced globally with a lot of success. The aim of the vehicle is to increase the land extent available for conservation, as remaining habitats are being eroded by unplanned development and unsustainable agricultural practices that cause grave and unprecedented threat to both forest cover and wildlife.

Pioneers in conservation

Established in 1894, the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) is the third oldest conservation society in the world and the largest in Sri Lanka with a membership base of over 3,000. For the last 127 years WNPS has been working with many stakeholders including scientists, researchers, policy makers, conservationists, activists and the general public, to protect Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity. Partnering with companies and supporters who share the same vision, allows the WNPS to springboard its efforts in protecting Sri Lanka’s flora and fauna for future generations


Protecting Sri Lanka’s wildlife habitats is now more important than ever

Sri Lanka is known as a global biodiversity hotspot for its high number of species, in a relatively limited area. Sri Lanka’s biodiversity also has a high rate of endemism – about 27% of the country’s plants are endemic and 22% of its amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. Sadly, Sri Lanka has one of the highest recorded rates of primary forest destruction in the world (Global Forest Watch). Primary forest cover has fallen from 84% in 1881 to less than 17% today (Mongbay). Habitat loss is the leading threat to Sri Lanka’s native ecosystems and species. It should come as no surprise that 30 species of mammals, 14 species of birds, 13 species of reptiles, 75 species of amphibians, 121 species of fish and 298 species of plants in Sri Lanka are listed as Threatened (IUCN Red List version 2020)

The biggest threat to Sri Lanka’s forests and wildlife habitats are human activities such as urbanization, agricultural expansion and ill-advised development projects.

Government decisions, such as the decision to abolish Circular No. 5/2001 and hand over forested land classified as Other State Forests (OSF) from the Forest Department (FD) to the Divisional Secretaries and District Secretaries for selected development projects, will destroy even more of our wildlife habitats.


Partners with a shared vision

Kaley Teas is a pioneering Ceylon tea, which comes from a single garden surrounded by forests, bordering Sinharaja Rainforest. The tea is grown organically, made with the finest leaves that are hand-picked, naturally withered from the winds from the rainforest and hand made.

Kaley continues to restore abandoned tea lands stripped of its natural balance by re-establishing bio diverse forest eco-systems. As Kaley’s teas are grown in a forest environment, the income of the community who grow and make tea is totally dependent on the existence of the forest. In this regard, Kaley Farms has set up a multi-pronged program to enrich the living standards of the families involved in the growing, plucking and making of Kaley Tea. Kaley will share their life stories, especially those of women and children who face various challenges on a daily basis. This will enable their partners to relate much closer to their communities. Ultimately, Kaley hopes that these actions will positively impact the 300 or so families in the village and will also help build a model that could be rolled-out elsewhere in the country.

Through this partnership WNPS and Kalay Teas hopes to protect and further develop the forest eco system and biodiversity, carry out research, publish findings which can aid in conservation and conduct training programs to educate village communities to ensure sustainability.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


President requests the opposition to support the implementation of the IMF agreement




President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the Opposition to unite and disregard political differences to assist in carrying out the IMF agreement, which would aid in the development of Sri Lanka’s economy.

The President emphasized that his duty is not to condemn previous administrations but to concentrate on the development of the country. He also declared his dedication to constructing a better future by creating laws and frameworks that prevent the recurrence of past errors.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered this message in a special address to Parliament this morning (22) regarding the receipt of the Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund.

He stated that despite allegations being leveled against him that his objective was not to rescue the country from an economic crisis but to safeguard the Rajapaksa family, the international community had acknowledged his efforts to carry the country across the economic vine bridge.

The President further said that he had faith in rebuilding the beloved country where he was born, brought up and educated, and said that many past experiences were the reasons for confirming that faith.

Continue Reading


SJB, JVP move SC against Finance Secy. for contempt of court



The main Opposition, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (21) moved Supreme Court against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana over his failure to provide funds required by the Election Commission to conduct the Local Government polls, ignoring an interim order issued by the apex court, on 03 March.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara, MP, is the petitioner for the SJB and Vijitha Herath, MP, moved court on behalf of the JVP, the leading party in the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB).

Two Opposition parties declared action against Siriwardana the day after the Freedom People’s Alliance (FPA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Finance Secretary to release the funds.

EC Chairman Nimal Punchihewa is on record as having said that in spite of SC directive he didn’t receive fresh funding.

The petitioners sought the issuance of summons on Siriwardana for contempt of court over failure to carry out its interim orders, given on 03 March.

The petitioners want the Finance Secretary punished in terms of Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

The SJB stated that Siriwardana had refrained from carrying out the March directives, on the basis of a Cabinet decision, taken on 13 Feb., 2023. The SJB also pointed out that the offensive conduct of the Treasury Secretary, inter alia, causes grave prejudice to the esteemed authority of the Supreme Court and in turn disturb the public confidence in the authority of the highest Court in the country. (SF)

Continue Reading


Minister indicates reduction in fuel prices in April



Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara told Parliament yesterday that fuel prices would be reduced considerably according to the fuel price formula at the next fuel price revision, due in April.

The Minister said that the government would be able to procure fuel shipments, at lower prices, during competitive bidding, with the receipt of the IMF bailout.

There had been practical issues, and problems, in opening Letters of Credit, and obtaining credit facilities, in the recent past, as Sri Lanka could not give a guarantee to fuel suppliers, Minister Wijesekara said.

“We could not open LCs and obtain credit facilities when procuring fuel. After the IMF bailout, we will be able to procure fuel at lower prices during competitive biddings. We will be able to obtain a long-term credit facility as well. Fuel prices in the global market seem to have declined and the rupee has also gained strength against the US Dollar. Having considered all these factors, fuel prices will be reduced by a considerable margin which could be felt by the people,” he said.

Continue Reading