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OUR IMPACT &
CONSERVATION ACTION

WNPS through PLANT has been successful in engaging a rapidly growing number of corporates, businesses, landowners and individuals who are committing land, funds, skills and other resources towards the notion of conservation that is privately led. PLANT is spearheading this within Sri Lanka and believes in converting many more such parties towards this cause. By orchestrating these efforts, and assisting with specialized knowledge and resources, we believe we can help to better preserve our natural reserves which are being depleted rapidly through the actions of many different parties and forces.

 

Already hundreds of acres and millions of rupees have been channelled for conservation during our first two years of operation. PLANT and WNPS actively engage local communities in these efforts as we appreciate that they are the real protectors and custodians of these wild places. Local leaders, schools, likeminded organizations and others are engaged in the journey. WNPS also lobbies the government on the policy front and continues legal battles where needed to safeguard such spaces. See the list of our partners here.

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Preserving Acres and Creating Corridors

PLANT is driving the notion of purchasing land as a conservation measure, as we believe there is a dire need to safeguard ecologically sensitive land areas. Lands are expensive, especially in the high biodiversity region of the Southwest of Sri Lanka. As a result, the focus is on acquiring smaller parcels of natural corridors through donor funding and encouraging different partners to set aside similar lands as dedicated conservation areas. Donors make a real difference on ground when they fund the protection of threatened natural habitats, and we are proud of those who have already contributed towards saving acres and highly threatened species. Already, over 2500 acres have been designated for conservation. PLANT has directly acquired some properties itself and been gifted with a few. With its small size and high biodiversity, it is not about the large numbers of acres but rather what we protect within it that matters. Our Minuwanella Property alone is home to almost 150 identified endemic species. Fragmented species vastly improve their chances of survival if they can move better among well-connected larger nature reserves and refuges, and we hope to contribute to just that. WNPS PLANT maybe small in size and funds, but we are big in dreams and aspirations.

Already, over 2500 acres have been designated for conservation. PLANT has directly acquired some properties itself and been gifted with a few. With its small size and high biodiversity, it is not about the large numbers  of acres but rather what we protect within it that matters. 

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Battling Climate Change and Species Protection

Reforestation is a big part of our work, and the PLANT team sources funding and engages partner plant nurseries to help provide critical flora, while engaging scientists and communities to do biodiversity studies and approach our ecosystem restoration in a scientific manner. PLANT also has partners who are best-in-class to advise the different stakeholders on Carbon emissions, Carbon footprints and other aspects. Sri Lanka has one of the highest deforestation rates of primary forests in the world and its rainforests, which were once distributed over 26% of the land, have been drastically reduced to about 2% today. It should come as no surprise that 30 species of mammals, 14 species of birds, 13 species of reptiles, 75 species of amphibians, 121 species of fish and 298 species of plants in Sri Lanka are listed as Threatened (IUCN Red List 2020). PLANT is saving many species who take refuge in our locations including the Indian Pangolin, the Sri Lanka Leopard, Serendib Scops Owl, Rough-nosed Horned Lizard, and interesting flora like the Giant Hora Tree, the tallest member of the Dipterocarpacea in Sri Lanka, to name just a few.

WNPS Interaction and Scientific Research

Being part of WNPS provides PLANT with the opportunity to engage closely with a range of conservation initiatives. An emerging symbiosis ensures that PLANT properties will become the locations for research on species, nurturing rare endemic plants, small forest conservation strategies, providing young future conservationists with field exposure and more. The extensive partner network, regional resources, and skilled team members that WNPS brings is what ensures that PLANT’s plans will scale to keep exceeding its aspirations in Sri Lanka (see www.wnpssl.org for more info).

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