CENS: Worst rape of environment last year in country’s history

The Centre for Environmental and Nature Studies estimates that Sri Lanka lost more than 10 acres of forests on a daily basis from January to December 31, 2020.

The Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam yesterday claimed the occurrence of a massive environmental destruction throughout the country and that made 2020 the year of worst eco-devastation in the history of the country.

He also said Circular 01/2020 was issued cancelling the previous circulars for the protection of the remaining forests such as 5/2001, 5/1998, 2/2006. The launch of development projects without environmental assessment reports and the alienation of forest lands for political purposes were very much evident throughout the year.

An unprecedented number of elephants had been killed in 2019 (407 deaths) and 2020 (317 deaths). Nearly 122 humans had been killed in the conflict in 2019. The first elephant death in 2021 was reported in Uva Paranagama, days ago.

Illegal activities such as the devastation committed to World Heritage Sinharaja Forest for a road construction followed by illegal clearing of forests on Sri Pada, the Knuckles mountains and in Horton Plains happened in 2020.

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