Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 09 October 2016






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Government Gazette

International Research Symposium on ‘Valuation of Forest Ecosystems’

The ‘International Research Symposium on Valuation of Forest Ecosystems and their Services’ is a ground-breaking symposium organised and spearheaded by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment – with the support of the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme, and the Forest Department. The event is to be held on October 18, at the BMICH in Colombo and is part of the Sri Lanka NEXT: ‘A Blue - Green Era’ Conference and Exhibition, to be held from October 17-19 at the same venue.

Since rapid economic development is one of the main priorities of the Government of Sri Lanka, it is inevitable that the demand for land would increase with time. Therefore, there is a need to understand the many services the forest ecosystems provide, both tangible (timber, wood fuel, food items) and intangible (fresh air and water, soil conservation etc.) while attempting to value these services. If such economic valuations are not done by researchers, and scientific data not considered when justifying the need for forest conservation, policy makers would by default make decisions that can be detrimental to society. Consequently, there is an urgent need to strengthen the science-policy interface on conservation of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services for their sustainable development leading to long-term human well-being.

“Many consider forests as a waste of land, where utilizing that same terrain for other purposes can bring prosperity to society and contribute to the national economy. But forests provide other services, such as, being the source of fresh water and clean air. Losing these services will result in costly alternatives that can be valued economically,” claims Conservator General of Forests Anura Sathurusinghe, who also serves as National Program Director of the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Program.

For more information contact Thilal Nanayakkara 0777362801



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