Large scale development projects which are harmful to nature must see an end in order to stop deforestation and environmental destruction, the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) said.
This was in response President’s decision to ban chainsaws and halt the registration of new carpentry workshops.
Environmental activist Wakandawala Rahula Thero, a member of the CENS, told RepublicNext that although regulating such activities are important, harmful projects carried out in the name of development is the main cause for environmental destruction.
“A number of development projects are taking place in Sri Lanka at present which causes great damage to the environment. In the name of tourism development, some people are commercializing rainforests. As a result, we see forests such as Sinharaja, Kanneliya, and Knuckles being destroyed. Mini Hydropower Plants located near water resources, and industrial agriculture also cause environmental damage,” the Thero said.
Rahula Thero also pointed out that the Lower Malwathu Oya Project, Uma Oya Hydropower Complex and Port City project are projects which cause environmental damage.
“The gravity of this destruction is very high because at present the forest coverage of Sri Lanka has gone down to 16.8 per cent. As a result, every year we face droughts, landslides and floods,” he added. said.
The President, therefore, in whose hands he called ‘ the main causes for environmental destruction are, must take necessary action to prevent environmental damage ‘ other than bringing up laws which cause problems to the general public,’ he added.