- Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:05
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The government of Sri Lanka as decided to establish elephant confinement centers to capture and kraal the wild elephants that are behaving harmful to people. It has been planned to use an identified forest belonging to the Forest Conservation Department from Horowupothana covering the Northern and North Western regions for this purpose.
The forest cover of Sri Lanka is around 29% of the total land area at present. In pursuant of the Mahinda Chinthana Vision for the Future,which has, as one of its main targets, increasing of the forest cover to 35%, the Forest Conservation Department endeavors to achieve the above targets by protecting and managing forests in accordance with the objectives of the National Forest Policy.
Population growth coupled with development projects caused the decrease in the forest cover, resulting in a change in the migratory patterns of elephants. The human-elephant conflict has aggravated due to this, causing the loss of 60-70 human lives and 200-220 elephant lives every year. Additionally, physical injuries to humans and elephants and damage to property and cultivation are immense.
Therefore, taking into consideration the above facts, the Wild Life Conservation Department has decided that establishment of elephant confinement centers is the most appropriate remedy to overcome this.
On the Recommendation of the Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and the Minister of Agrarian Services and Wild Life .M.Chandrasena, the Cabinet has granted approval to identify a portion of land, nearly 1582 hectares in extent from the proposed forest in Horowupothana and transfer it to the Department of Wild Life Conservation.