Enhance legal protection for national parks - President | Sunday Observer

Enhance legal protection for national parks - President

30 October, 2022

President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday directed Wildlife and Forest Conservation authorities to take immediate steps to ensure that no vehicles other than registered safari vehicles enter Yala, Wilpattu, Horton Plains and other national parks.

He has instructed the Forest and Wildlife Department officials to increase the number of security personnel in national parks.

President Wickremesinghe instructed the officials to draft new laws to address these concerns and strengthen wildlife and forest protection.

The President issued these instructions during the Friday meeting at the Presidential Secretariat.

President Wickremesinghe said that the formulation and implementation of new laws would be critical in empowering the existing Acts on the environment, forests, and wildlife protection to ensure the sustainability of forest and wildlife resources.

Wickremasinghe also directed officials to draft additional laws to provide protection to the Sri Pada forest reserve and the Sinharaja rain forest. He told the officials to ensure that eco-friendly electric vehicles are deployed in the future to facilitate travel from Pattipola and Ohiye, the points of entry to the Horton Plain. The officials also received instructions from the President to formulate laws to protect the sacred area of Kebilitta.

The President called upon the officials not to permit development projects that would affect the country’s forest cover, emphasiding that Sri Lanka’s forest cover is now 35 percent.