Sri Lanka’s Vanishing Forest Cover
Ceylon in 1920, as Sri Lanka was known then, was endowed with a forest cover of 49%. That’s half of the landmass of an island once known as the world’s Garden of Eden. By 2015, Sri Lanka’s forest cover had dwindled to 29%*. At the rate in which deforestation is occurring, the destruction is rapid and alarming! *UNREDD
Deforestation and forest degradation reportedly account for 17 per cent of carbon emissions, more than the world’s transportation sectors combined. Agriculture, logging and commercial development are primary contributors to the epidemic that’s destroying our habitat as you read this.
Guardians of Nature
First to be enlisted on to the cause of GEF, through KumbukRiver, were poachers, loggers and miners, all plying an illicit craft for living. GEF’s far-reaching Geo 360’ model where a combination of education, inspiration, ownership and economic success and accountability was homegrown, on the field with villagers driven to vandalize nature in order to survive soon emerged as its most ardent guardians. Among GEF’s primary focuses at present is an ambitious reforestation programme.
Major Contributors to Deforestation
While bringing the attention of the world’s media and its tourists to a truly remarkable responsible tourism experience, GEF, together with, KumbukRiver has been a mouthpiece for nature and a beacon of hope for people. A 15-acre land, once destroyed by ‘slash and burn’ cultivation is now a growing forest, growing naturally for the past 14 years. Another 3-acres form planned reforestation – forming the inaugural efforts of our reforestation mandate.