ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Air Force said it had seed-bombed a 60 acre area in Lahugala in a reforestation bid in the fourth such operation conducted so far with material supplied by MAS Holdings, an apparel group.
The mission was organized by the Command Agro Unit at SLAF Base Katunayake under Air Commodore Suharshi Fernando with the Forest Conservation Department and the University of Peradeniya.
The mission is part of efforts to boost Sri Lanka’s forest cover from 27 percent to 32 percent by 2030.
The seed bombs were dropped today from a Mil Mi-17 piloted by Wing Commander Venu Silva Flying Officer Lahiru Chandrasekara.
Over 70,000 ‘seed bombs’ from dry zone species of Ehela (Cassia fistula), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Karanda (Pongamia pinnata), Mailla (Vitex altissima), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Koan (Schleichera oleosa) and Madatiya (Adenanthera pavonina) were dropped.
“MAS Holdings contributed to this project by providing seeds which were used to fabricate seed bombs,” SLAF said.
The first bombing mission over Ranorawa Government Forest had been conducted in 2018 as a pilot project over a five acres with 5,000 seed bombs.
In 2019, another 67,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60 acre area in the Lahugala forest in Ampara
In December 2020 30,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 5 acres land area also in Lahugala National Park.
The SLAF said its Command Agro Unit is gathering data to monitor how seed bombs have germinated and are growing in changing environmental conditions. (Colombo/Jan15/2021)