Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sri Lanka: On track to 'go beyond the critical point'

Human-elephant conflicts on the rise, some conservation initiatives planned by government

A legal resettlement near a forest in Sri Lanka. Photo by Manori Gunawardena. 

In 1983, Sri Lanka became embroiled in a 26-year-long civil war in which a rebel militant organization fought to establish an independent state called Tamil Eelam. The war took an enormous human toll; unknown numbers disappeared and millions more were displaced. Economic development stagnated in the rebel-held north and east of the country, while foreign investment shied away from the country. 

During the latter half of the war, between 1990 and 2005, Sri Lanka suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world as government soldiers burned vast tracts to flush rebels out of their forest strongholds.As a result, the country lost about 35 percent of its old growth forest and almost 18 percent of its total forest cover

Read more at Mongabay

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