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Government Gazette

No settlements within demarcated forest boundaries

The Forest Conservation Department has completed survey and demarcation of 17,279 kilometres of forest boundaries for the last eight years and the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry on Tuesday announced that it will not allow new settlements to take place inside its demarcated boundaries under any circumstances. Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka said, we have decided not to allow anybody to set up new homes inside those forest boundaries demarcated by the ministry's Forest Conservation Department to ensure the sustainability of the country's forest. However, Minister Ranawaka said , they will not move those farmer communities that were found to have been living in those forests at the time the Forest Department and survey contractors demarcated the land.

He also said ,"no one will be allowed to take sand, rubble or any such items from the forest."

The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry has demarcated the forest boundaries under its Forest Resources Management Project in keeping with the Forest Sector Master Plan (1995). The Government has received a credit of 25.2 million US dollars from Asian Development Bank, and spent US 10.9 million dollars from its own funds and Project beneficiaries have provided US 2.6 million dollars for the project.

The project was implemented countrywide except in the Northern and Eastern Provinces due to security reasons, said Ranawaka.

 

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