Stringent legal action against racketeers who destroy forests & jungles – President

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Maithripala Sirisena says stringent legal action will be taken against racketeers who destroy forests and jungles. The government has paid its special attention to preserve the forest resource of the country and the government will take every possible action to achieve that without any delay, he said.

He made these remarks addressing the 27th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) held at the BMICH in Colombo, today (24).

The 27th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission was commenced yesterday under the theme ‘Forestry in a New Landscape’ and the Session will continue until 27th.

In this Session, it is scheduled to discuss many topics including preparation of guidelines for forest management, approval of regional forests and landscape mapping strategies, the existence of plants in urban landscapes, the contribution of forests for food and nutrition security, new approach for community forest management and resource assessment in 2020.

Representative of 34 member countries of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission and around 300 representatives of the various observer organizations participate at this Session.

Expressing his views further the President said that the Government of Sri Lanka committed to follow the international declarations, including the Paris Convention to protect the environment and many programmes have been implemented at national level in this regard.

The President proposed to the APFC to implement a program to provide more assistance to the countries committed to increase forest density and to protect the environment when giving financial donations through international monetary institutes. He pointed out it will help to encourage those countries.

The President also stated every country in the world is now facing critical weather and climate changes. He said it has become a challenge to the existence of the human being and the animals.

President Sirisena pointed out that the guidance of the intellectuals and the researchers is important for the programs carried out to environmental conservation and the safety of the forests. He said the government will provide special facilities to the state institutions which are working for the environmental conservation.

Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Susil Premajayantha, Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayarathne, Assistant-Director General of the FAO – Forestry Hiroto Mitsugi, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre Tony Simons and the Conservator General of Forests S. A. Anura Sathurusinghe were among those who were present on this occasion.

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