The Forest Department is to initiate several programmes to increase the country’s forest cover following the completion of a survey conducted to determine the current forest cover.
The Forest Department statistics have shown that at the beginning of the last century, about 70 per cent of Sri Lanka’s land area was under natural forest cover, which has reduced to 23.88 per cent of the total land area by 1992.
The Department’s data for 1999 and 2007 has stated that the closed canopy natural forests had dropped further from 22.55 per cent to 22.22 per cent.
According to the Department, results of the latest survey would be released shortly.
The main programme initiated by the Forest Department to increase the country’s forest cover is the reforestation of the hills.
The replanting of the hills is to commence in October during the rainy season and the Department has reportedly identified the sites for the programme following an initial study.