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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

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National parks to generate more revenue

Sri Lanka is blessed with invaluable natural resources capable of generating a higher income while promoting Sri Lanka as a preferred destination for tourism industry in the world.


Udeni Wickramasinghe

“The present eco-tourism facilities in the national parks in Sri Lanka need to be enhanced to generate more revenue to the country as a whole while giving a helping hand to support conservation efforts in the wildlife related activities,” Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry Secretary Udeni Wickramasinghe said. He said the tourism industry is booming in the face of the prevailing peaceful environment in the country.

Invaluable bio resources such as various valuable fauna and flora play a bigger role to promote the tourism industry while earning considerable foreign exchange to the country.

He made these views addressing the National Consultation Workshop held on “Sri Lanka Wildlife Enforcement Network - linking up with South Asia” yesterday.

Sri Lanka has been identified as a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ due to higher diversity of flora and fauna species in the Asian region.

However, illegal wildlife trade and over exploitation of these resources poses many socio economic problems to the country, he said.

“The effective implementation of environmentally friendly, economically viable, socially viable, socially acceptable, well defined management plans will lead to promote wildlife conservation efforts in the country in a meaningful manner,” Wickramasinghe said.

“Illegal wildlife trade is on the rise and it will pose a significant threat to our bio resources in the future, especially when considering smuggling of wildlife for selling in international markets. Endemic animals and plants of Sri Lanka are particularly at a high risk due to high demand for such items in other countries. Therefore sharing information and working together with all stakeholders including the public is a must to combat such illegal operations, Wildlife Conservation Department Director General Dr Chandrawansa Pathiraja said.

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