The Government, it seems, is committed to destroying and annihilating our ecosystem and our wildlife.
The high rate of deforestation, the stripping away of nature and wildlife assets, and now the most recent proposition to feed wild animals contraceptives, ensures our ultimate destruction and the eroding of our humanity and intelligence.
Many countries have used the pause last year to rethink and search for answers to important questions, such as how do we mitigate the effects of global warming; how do we ensure that our indigenous peoples are given their rightful place in society; how do we protect and nurture our wildlife and our domestic animals, because after all we need each other don’t we?
But no, Sri Lanka seems to want to diminish and ultimately annihilate our wildlife population, thereby seriously damaging our ecosystem and destroying this beautiful country, which has been aptly titled “paradise”.
We can no longer be blind to what we are most blessed with. It is now time to protect and preserve our best assets – nature and wildlife. Our natural landscapes and attractions boast of the richest species concentration in Asia and one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world, for both plants and animals.
Consider the wild elephant population: 70% roam outside the protected areas, offering the best viewing opportunities in Asia, but what do we do with this national treasure? We give villagers land within elephant corridors as election bribes, we torture elephants in the hallowed precincts of temples, all of which has resulted in 350 elephants perishing in 2019 alone, quite possibly much more!
When ancient migratory corridors are disrupted, elephants die. When forests are uprooted, we will no longer be ‘green’. When the damage is done – when our natural assets are stripped away – what will Sri Lanka be left with?
Amid the increase in deforestation and destruction of wildlife, what stands out glaringly is the silence from decision makers and other informed people. With the exception of a mere handful of environmentalists and informed and caring people, we do not decry and condemn the Government’s disastrous, nay total lack of vision for this beautiful country.
We are stagnating at middle-income levels. Our unskilled labour market is expensive and demands higher wages and we lack a pool of skilled market-ready workers, and now we are hell-bent on destroying our wildlife.
We are most certainly determined on self-destruction as we ignore all global trends, negate our humanity, and turn our back on age-old Buddhist precepts which have preached “Karuna” to millions of Sri Lankans over the years. 0
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest… It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars,” says Sir David Attenborough.
Our forest cover has reduced by 130,349 hectares from 2010-2019 reflecting a sharp increase of 8.6% of net forest change.
Sri Lanka has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity – however we have grasped and seized the opportunity to destroy ourselves.