Forest cover to be increased
Environment Protection Committees will be set up with the
participation of the public across the country covering all districts.
The forest cover of the country will be increased under the program. The
initiative was taken by Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil
Premajayantha, Ministry sources said.
The rationale behind the program is to improve the forest resources
in the country and thereby ensure more rains throughout the year,
according to the sources. It will be implemented under the Mahinda
Chinthana. The present forest cover has been estimated at 29 percent and
moves are under way to increase it to 35 percent by 2020. The Ministry
hopes to expand the forest area to another 450,000 acres.
The committees comprises religious leaders, police officers,
residents, officials of the Divisional Secretariat Offices and Grama
Niladharis. The planting of saplings and tending them will be carried
out with the support from the committees, the sources said. The project
was launched on March 21 to mark International Forest Day. The first
committee will be set up in Anuradhapura in May.
The Economic Development Ministry and the Public Administration and
Home Affairs Ministry have joined hands to implement the program.