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  • Writer's picturePlant Administration

Teejay supports reforestation of Maskeli Oya banks


Teejay Lanka PLC CEO Pubudu De Silva and PLANT Chairman Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne exchange the agreement in the presence of representatives of the two organisations


  • Joins forces with WNPS PLANT to part fund reforesting of over 50 hectares  


Leading textile manufacturer Teejay Lanka PLC has pledged funding support towards part of the reforestation of a nine-kilometre section of the banks of the Maskeli Oya, a major upstream tributary of one of Sri Lanka’s most important rivers, the Kelani. 


Connecting to the foothills of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, the initiative is supported as part of the company’s sustainability roadmap and will enhance water quality, reduce human animal conflict and contribute to combating climate change as well. 


The project, on land in the Maskeliya Upcot valley that is to be released for the purpose by the Hayleys group’s Horana Plantations PLC, is being executed and managed by Preserving Land and Nature (Guarantee) Limited (PLANT), a company established by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s largest and most active conservation entity.


A memorandum of understanding entered into by Teejay and PLANT envisages the regeneration of forest cover on 30 to 50 feet wide continuous strips of land on the opposing banks of the waterway. Five project segments combine, forming a nine-kilometre forest corridor that will create over 50 hectares of new forest, with one of these segments funded by Teejay.


Teejay Lanka CEO Pubudu De Silva said the two-year project would be a significant element of the company’s ‘Abhivarah 2030’ sustainability roadmap and generate valuable carbon credits, while helping restore one of the country’s most scenic natural habitats to its pristine state. “Teejay is also focused on initiatives to improve the environment in and around the Kelani River and its related ecosystems and this project is a perfect extension of that commitment,” he said. 


Speaking at the signing of the MoU, PLANT Chairman Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne commended Teejay for the company’s solid commitment towards nature preservation and for the many groundbreaking initiatives it is taking. 


“PLANT is fortunate to have visionary partners like Teejay coming forward to set an example for others to follow,” he added. 


The forest corridor that is to be created by PLANT as part of this reforestation project will comprise of multiple tree species including tel-keena (Calophyllum walker) kudu dawula or dawul kurundu – (Neolitsea cassia) gal-weralu (Elaeocarpus subvillosus) and kenda (Macaranga sp.) among others, thereby helping to enhance the biodiversity of the area, prevent soil erosion and flooding. 


PLANT was set up with the aim of acquiring privately-owned lands outright or on a long-term lease for the purpose of conservation and to collect funds for the purpose of conservation, while also working to leverage lands, which are owned by partners themselves. PLANT currently supports more than 2500 acres of conservation footprint in over 20 locations with the help of multiple local and global partners


This article first appeared in The Daily Mirror on the 3rd of April 2024.

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