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Palmyrah palms to solve human-elephant conflict

A sustainable solution has been found for the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka by Practical Action, said Practical Action Sri Lanka Team Leader Ranasinghe Perera, addressing a press conference yesterday at the Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo.

He said that electric fencing was the principal solution for the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka.

Although it has shown positive results it had some limitations such as high cost of fencing and maintenance. As an alternative to electric fencing, Practical Action has come up with an innovative, low cost, sustainable bio-fencing technology to protect elephants and humans.

"It is cultivation of four rows of Palmyrah palms in a zig-zag manner at the territorial boundaries of elephants or around wild elephant affected farmlands.

The technology is based on the indigenous knowledge of the people of Sri Lanka and currently is being put into practice as a pilot project in the Uda-walawa, Verugal, and Konakumbukwewa areas.

The Wild Life Conservation Department, the Palmyrah Development Board and Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute are actively engaged in the exercise, and International Elephant Fund provides partial financial assistance to implement the action" said the Team Leader.

Practical Action South Asia Programme Regional Director Vishaka Hidellage said that Practical Action Sri Lanka has organised a series of programmes to stimulate alternative thinking within Sri Lanka and create interest on viable options to face the challenges to national development and contribute to eradicate poverty more effectively.

Practical Action has been complementing the Sri Lankan Government's development program since it set up office in Sri Lanka in 1989 under it's former name Intermediate Technology Development Group and has done a large number of development programmes to uplift the living standards of under-privileged people in Sri Lanka such as mini hydro power projects, irrigation schemes, and agricultural programs.

Practical Action Sri Lanka has organised a number of programmes to mark the 100th birth anniversary of E.F. Schumacher its founder, such as awareness programmes and the creation of a platform to discuss insights and strategies promoted by Practical Action, based on Schumacher philosophy.

 

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