The Economic Development Ministry has cut trees in the Moradawilluva and Thavussamadam areas in the Wilpattu national park. The destruction is to be carried out in 245 acres of land claiming the clearing of land is for an agriculture project.
The trees are being cut by the State Timber Corporation with approval from the Forest Department. Clause 9 of the amended Fauna and Flora Ordinance number 22 of 2009 states that the area up to a kilometer from the border of a national park is considered a buffer zone. The buffer zone has been named in order to prevent any external damages to the preserved area.
The laws applied to the nature reserves are also applicable to the buffer zones. However, the damage caused to protected land in violation of these laws has resulted in the destruction of many trees. The area that is being cleared is also frequented by elephants and the move to clear these lands for development work has resulted in elephants entering into areas inhabited by humans in Kala Oya and Vanathawilluva area.
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