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Sunday, 30 March 2014

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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.

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