Sri Lanka’s forest density in 1882 was 82%. In 2019, it has plummeted to a meagre 16.5% (source: https://www.newsfirst.lk/2019/04/14/red-alert-by-mother-nature-sl-forest-density-reduced-from-85-to-16-5/).
Reforestation needs to be carried out as a priority in order to bring back our forest cover and protect our fragile biodiversity from further harm. In this warming climate, an increase in forest cover will bring about a welcome cooling effect on the island, protect against severe drought, and also improve the prospects of a sustainable tourism industry, just to name a few benefits.
Thick forest cover also acts as a strategic national security asset in times of conflict, as we saw during the war with the LTTE. It would prove invaluable in the unlikely event that we are invaded by a foreign power, as history has shown that no one fights well in someone else’s jungle.
~ Anjana Denagamage