Past symposia organised by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science

1st Symposium (1995)
Theme: Forestry for Development
15 – 16 December 1995 at Corel Gardens Hotel, Hikkaduwa (Abstracts)

2nd Symposium (1996)
Theme: Management and Sustainable Utilization of Forest Resources
6 –7 December 1996 at Tangerine Beach Hotel, Kalutara (Abstracts)

3rd Symposium (1997)
Theme: Development in Forest Sciences in 1997
12 – 13 December 1997 1t Corel Gardens Hotel, Hikkaduwa (Abstracts)

4th Symposium (1998)
Theme: Development in Environmental Sciences in 1998
3 –4 December 1998 at Hotel Riverina (Abstracts)

5th Symposium (1999)
Theme: Challenges in Natural Resource Management
10 –11 December 1999 at Corel Gardens Hotel, Hikkaduwa (Abstracts)

6th Symposium (2000)
Theme: Development in Environmental Sciences in Sri Lanka 2000
15 – 16 December 2000 at Le Kandyan Hotel, Kandy (Abstracts)

7th Symposium (2001)
Theme: Research Innovations for the Development of Forest and
Environment Industries
28 – 29 December 2001 at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda (Abstracts)

8th Symposium (2002)
Theme: Sustainable Environmental Management Towards a Better
Quality of Life
13 – 14 December 2002 at Corel Gardens Hotel, Hikkaduwa (Abstracts)

9th Symposium(2004)
Theme: Eco-Friendly Approaches Towards Sustainable Development
27 – 28 February 2004 at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda (List of titles | Abstracts)

10th Symposium (2005)
Theme: Forestry & Environmental Science for Sustainable Development
2 -3 December 2005 at Kabool Lanka, Thulhiriya (List of titles | Abstracts)

11th Symposium (2006)
Theme: MANAGING NATURAL RESOURCES TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
22 -23 December 2006 at Villa Ocean View Hotel, Kalutara (Prorgam and Images | Abstracts)

12th Symposium (2007)
Theme: GREEN SOLUTIONS
20 November -1 December 2007 at Tangerine Beach Hotel, Kalutara (Prorgam and Images | Abstracts)

13th Symposium (2008)
Theme: Developments in Forestry and Environment Management in 2008
27 – 28 December 2008 at Tangerine Beach Hotel, Kalutara (Prorgam and Images | Abstracts)

14th Symposium (2009)
Theme: Developments in Forestry and Environment Management in 2009
18 – 19 December 2009 at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka (Abstracts)

13th Symposium (2010)
Theme: Developments in Forestry and Environment Management in 2010
26 – 27 November 2010 at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka (Full Papers | Abstracts)

Symposium Organising Committee (SOC)
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

Tel:+94 112804685         Fax:+94 112802914                 E-mail: fesympo at gmail.com or contact us
+94 112802695-6 ext.415, 408 +94 112802937

SRI LANKA TOURISM AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE OF DIRECTION FROM SUN, SEA AND SAND IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TSUNAMI

“The density of both natural and cultural assets in a small island is unique and, provide a strong foundation for an ecotourism industry, as it is relatively easy for a visitor to obtain a very rich and rewarding holiday experience in a short period of time.” 

Chandra de Silva
Founder President- Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka (ESSL)
Board Member – The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) Washington DC.
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Director/CEO – Ranweli Holiday Village

Introduction

Sri Lanka’s planned tourism started in 1965 on a beach model which is generally referred to as sun, sea and sand tourism. This classical model of tourism development was used by global lending agencies – World Bank and IDB to provide employment and generate foreign exchange earnings in some third world countries where sandy beaches were identified as a resource.

Countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia which viewed beach tourism as a development tool on the mass market beach model were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the economic leakage of tourist dollars and the negative, social and environmental impacts of mass tourism.

Mounting criticism of the collateral damage caused by mass tourism led the World Bank and IDB , which had invested heavily in large tourism projects , to conclude that tourism is not a sound development strategy. In the late 1970s, both institutions closed down their tourism departments and ceased lending for tourism. They only moved back into providing loans for tourism projects in the 1990s, this time under the rubric of ecotourism – (“Protecting Eden” by Martha Honey, July/August 2003 in “Environment”.)

In this context it has to be noted that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board has recognized this new segment of tourism and changed Its slogan to “beyond beaches, culture, nature, adventure” which fits very well with ecotourism.

The devastation of the Tsunami made it even more important for Sri Lanka to develop nature and cultural tourism with these resources distributed inland away from the mass tourism destinations along the coast.

Sri Lanka is a tropical island with total area of 65,610 sq.km. and a coastline extending over 1,585 km. Her natural environment is famed for its great scenic beauty and diversity. It ranges from clear blue coastal waters, coral reefs and sandy beaches on one hand to primeval forests, wetlands and mountain environments on the other. Super-imposed upon this are historic and cultural sites of antiquity going back to over 2000 years.

This rich blend of natural and cultural wealth represents a microcosm of many large countries. The density of both natural and cultural assets in a small island is unique and, provide a strong foundation for an ecotourism industry, as it is relatively easy for a visitor to obtain a very rich and rewarding holiday experience in a short period of time.

It was these striking attributes that, nearly 800 years ago, prompted Marco Polo, the famous European traveller and, perhaps, Sri Lanka’s first European tourist, to give expression to his wonderment in words that are still true today.

” On leaving the island of Andaman and sailing a thousand miles a little south of west, the Traveller reaches Ceylon, which is undoubtedly the finest island of its size in all the world”.

TRENDS IN TOURISM -OVERALL EXPANSION & MARKET SHARE

Tourism sector integrates a wide range of economic activities and is regarded as worlds’ largest industry. Over the last few decades, tourism has been one of the consistent growth industries. 808 Million took a holiday in a foreign country in 2005 (WTO press release26.1.06).

According to a paper prepared by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), for the world summit on sustainable development (WSSD) Johannesburg, 2002. in addition to strong overall expansion, the development of tourism is characterized by continuing geographical spread and diversification of tourist destinations. While in 1950 the top 15 tourist destinations, all in Western Europe and North America, attracted 97 per cent of the world’s total arrivals, by 1999 this figure had fallen by 35% to 62%, with market shares increasing for developing countries and economies in transition, particularly in South-East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

QUALITATIVE DEVELOPMENT AND MARKET SEGMENTATION

Some key qualitative development trends in tourism include: increased market segmentation; development of new forms of tourism, especially those related to nature, wildlife, rural areas and culture; and introduction of new programmes in traditional package tours. Consumers’ motivations and behaviour are increasingly characterized by a more selective choice of destination, greater attention to the tourism experience and its quality, and a greater sensitivity to the environment, traditional culture and local people at the destinations.

The increase of market share to nature and culture will be over 300 Million of international arrivals – taking 35percent of 808 million arrivals in 2005 as a base – Such large numbers engaging in nature and cultural tourism is bound to create massive problems of environmental degradation both physical and social if not managed with sensitivity and cultural integrity.

Consequently, in order to minimize these impacts authentic ecotourism which is regarded as the most sustainable component of sustainable tourism seems to be the answer. Sri Lanka must take advantage of this trend and be ready to cater for ecotourism which encompasses nature and cultural tourism.

Related article
What is ecotoursm?

What is Ecotourism

“Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural and cultural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the local people. “

Chandra de Silva
Founder President- Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka (ESSL)
Board Member – The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) Washington DC.
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Director/CEO – Ranweli Holiday Village’

Ecotourism is an exciting niche market that combines the pleasure of discovering and understanding spectacular fauna, flora and cultural sites a holiday in the educational periphery combined with conservation and welfare of the community, In contrast to the pleasure periphery based on consumerism offered by mass tourism.

The term ecotourism first appeared in the 1970s, a decade during which emerged the rise of a global environmental movement and a convergence of demand for sustainable and socially responsible forms of tourism. With a history deeply rooted in the conservation movement ecotourism has provided a highly strategic source of revenue to natural and cultural areas that need protection. Further, ecotourism could be used as a strategy for poverty alleviation since these assets are often located in peripheral areas.

The word ‘ecotourism’ has become a buzz word and a marketing tool for spurious products referred to as “green washing” in ecotourism literature. Ecotourism should be developed with ecological and sociological sensitivity in order to achieve the principles on which it is based, namely:

  • Responsible travel to natural and cultural areas,
  • which conserves the environment and
  • sustains the well-being of the local people.

Ecotourism ranges from a casual walk through undisturbed forests to exploration and study of unique natural and cultural features in remote areas.

An important product of ecotourism is the eco lodge coupled with facilities based on nature and culture as operations are different from conventional tourism.

ECOLODGE & CONVENTIONAL RESORTS

Ecolodges- the lodging facility of ecotourists- are generally small units of 10 – 15 rooms constructed with local building material and traditional methods. An ecolodge could be constructed with wattle and daub with village labour and decorated with local artifacts to create an indigenous flair. They have to be built in harmony with the natural environment in spirit and design.

EVOLUTION OF ECOLODGES

During the last decade ecotourism properties have been constructed around the world in proximity to forests and cultural centers which can extend to over 100 rooms provided the spatial dimension is taken into consideration and constructed on the principles of carrying capacity. Carrying capacity means that some use or development limit exists which when exceeded, begins the process of environmental degradation.

KINGFISHER BAY RESORT AND VILLAGE (KBRV)

A global example is Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village (KBRV) located in Frazer island in Queensland . Frazer island is 180,000 Hectares in extent with woodlands and a rainforest. KBRV is a land mark in the ecotourism industry. It includes a 152 room resort , 75 residential villas and a 120 bed wilderness lodge , staff and shopping villages constructed on a scheme sympathetic to the natural shapes of the island with environmental, social and economic sustainability, landscaping and interior design.

The philosophy behind the project was that Frazer island would be the primary motivation for guests to visit the resort. The antithesis of the approach of most of the beach hotels, concrete castles designed to be fully self contained and internally focused.

ECONOMIC LEAKAGE

Conventional tourism often involves substantial ‘leakages’ of income out of the country as costly items for construction, furnishings and décor, food and beverages are central to the construction and operation of traditional hotels. World Bank estimates that the leakage is around 50% – 70%.

Ecotourists do not expect accommodations, food or night life that meet the standard of comfort or luxury held by other groups of tourists. For ecotourists living with local conditions, customs and food ‘enrich’ their vacation experiences. They are well educated and discerning travellers looking for knowledge based holidays, and engage in activities, such as bird watching, nature and cultural tours etc. for which expert interpreters (guides) are engaged.

Thus, most of the money remain in the country – particularly in peripheral areas, stimulating economic activity and growth in the rural sector. Leakage out of the country is therefore minimal.

Local communities have the most at stake and therefore most to loose, in the emerging ecotourism market place. As globalization makes local economic control increasingly difficult, ecotourism seeks to reverse the trend by stressing that local entrepreneurs and communities must be vitally involved

Consequently, ecotourism, which is a niche segment of the tourism industry should be owned and managed by Sri Lankans, which will prevent leakages out of the country and provide the right Sri Lankan flavour and stimulate the appreciation of nature and culture among the community. Further, Sri Lankans know their country best and ecotourism should be their business; as the resource base is their heritage.

Ecotourism could be developed extensively in Sri Lanka. Such development can make a sustained contribution to the Sri Lankan economy, to the generation of country-wide employment and to the improvement of the quality of life of the people.

Related Article
Development of Ecotourism in the aftermath of tsunami in Sri Lanka

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Seventeen Ideas for Environmentally Friendly Living

Environmentally friendly living not only helps the planet (giving a lighter ecological footprint) but also provide you healthy, simple and more economical lifestyle. Just a few small changes in your day to day life will be helpful in addressing some of the global issues such as global warming and also local issues such as solid waste disposal, energy crisis, land degradation and water scarcity.

Compiled by Department of Forestry and Environment Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Released on World Environment Day 2007 (5 June 2007)
These ideas were launched on 5 June 2007 to School children and general public at Univesity of Sri Jayewardenepura. 

 

Idea you can implement NOW:

  • 1. Environmentally responsible living at Home
    Anyone can start environmentally friendly living by doing simple things at home such as switching off unnecessary lights and appliances, repair broken taps, saving water by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth etc.

Ideas for Reducing Garbage

    • 2. Think before you buy (Do not purchase unnecessary things)
      Reducing the amount we consume is the first step in reducing waste.
    • 3. Use of Reusable goods such as reusable bags –
      Find constructive uses for “waste” materials. You can make a fashion statement and design your own shopping bag. A small investment saving rupees and environment in the long term.
    • 4. Use a compost bin to recycle kitchen waste –
      Recycling will reduce the amount of garbage you dispose as a municipal waste.

About 85% of what we throw out from households are easily biodegradable waste which will provide us a fertilizer for our gardens at no cost passively. A compost bin takes up maximum 1 sq m from your garden space. These are available in plastic, concrete or metal in many sizes and to suit your budget.

  • By following “reduce, reuse, recycle” in that order of importance will reduce the waste you generate.
  • 5. Green living in the digital age –
    Use both sides of papers in printing/ photocopying, In printing documents, print only the portion that is essential after editing. Replace e-mail for normal mail wherever possible. Going digital saves time, paper, storing space and so much more easy to access past records and it is trendy !!.
  • 6. Buy local products (Consume Sri Lankan products) –
    This will reduce the foreign exchange, promote local industries and also this will reduce the emissions involve in transport.
  • 7. Bring lunch in lunch boxes –
    A very small investment for a lunch box is economical, healthier in the long run and reducing the use of non degradable lunch sheets.
  • 8. Give only Eco-friendly gifts –
    Make sure the gift you give will get used. Avoid unnecessary packaging and give green gifts: consumable gifts such as fruits, local gifts, CFL bulbs and rechargeable batteries.

 

Ideas for Energy Saving

  • 9. Use CFL bulbs –
    Compact fluorescent, spiral light bulbs are 75% more efficient than standard light bulbs
  • 10. Use Solar Power –
    Now easy to use solar panels are available for lighting, and also solar chargers are available for for electronic appliances.
  • 11. Energy saving on the road –
    Walking, cycling, using a car pool, fuel efficient cars, keeping the car well maintained, driving at a lower speed or taking public transport, all produce fewer emissions.
  • 12. Green buildings –
    Improve natural daylight, ventilation in workspace, home environment. Offices that are designed for air-conditioning create a sick environment since often these are not maintained. It is very much more economical, healthy and sensible to consider designs to optimize the use of natural lighting and ventilation.
  • 13. Switch off electrical appliances rather than keep them on the standby mode-
    Computers, monitors, printers, photocopy machines, televisions, VCRs, DVD players, and microwave ovens should be properly switched off to save energy.

Ideas for Reducing Land degradation

  • 14. Conserve soil –
    Do not expose soil in land development.
  • 15. Plant a tree –
    Trees absorb CO2 which will reduce global warming and it provides other benefits such as shelter, conservation of soil, retaining water, supply food, wood and fuelwood.

Ideas for Saving Water

  • 16. Harvest rain water –
    Put a barrel on your downspouts and use this water for watering plants, washing etc.
  • 17. Save water in the garden –
    Retain rain water in the garden by facilitating infiltration and reducing the surface flow. If you have to water the garden, do it during the coolest part of the day or at night to minimize evaporation.

 

Education – Scholarly articles on Forestry and Environment

Seventeen Ideas for Environmentally Friendly Living
Environmentally friendly living not only helps the planet (giving a lighter ecological footprint) but also provide you healthy, simple and more economical lifestyle.
These ideas were compiled by Department of Forestry and Environment Science and these will be launched on World Environment Day 2007 (June 5)

Sri Lanka Tourism An Opportunity to Change of Direction from Sun, Sea and Sand in the Aftermath of the Tsunami – by Chandra de Silva

Forest Management in Sri Lanka – Web site maintained by Dr Upul Subasinghe, Senior Lecturer in Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Research papers of Forestry and Environment Symposia 1995-2001
Abstracts of the research papers of the symposia covering various subjects in the fields of forestry, environment, biodiversity, natrue and natural resources

Code of Ethics for Research on Biological Diversity involving Access to Genetic Resources of Sri Lanka (2004) Document published by Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka – read before conducting research invovling biodiverstiy of Sri Lanka

Preparation of a Country Environmental Profile for Sri Lanka for European Union (EU) Sri Lanka economic cooperation (2006) S.W. Newman and D.M.S.H.K. Ranasinghe – Full Paper

Environmental Impacts of Tsunami and it’s Rehabilitation– Abstract of the paper deliverd by Prof. D.M.S.H.K. Ranasinghe, Department of Forestry & Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Understanding Earthquakes and Tsunamis – by Prof Dhammika A. Tantrigoda, Department of Physics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka Recent trends in forest management – Abstract of the theme talk delivered by Mr H M Bandarathilake, former Conservator of Forest and Director, Forest Resources Management Project


Pollution Control and Waste Management
– Abstract of the talk delivered by W L Sumathipala Open University of Sri Lanka and Director, National Ozone unit of Sri Lanka

Sustainable Agricultural Practices – Abstract of the talk delivered by P M Dharmasena, Field Crops Research and Development Institute, Mahailluppallama

Environmental Message by Arhat Mahinda – Message on nature conservation


Environmental Issues relating to proposed coal power plant at Kalpitiya

Air pollution caused by Vehicles


Key Environmental Issues in Sri Lanka


Challenges and opportunities in Forestry for the new millennium


Dynamics and Trends in U.S. Furniture Markets
– Presentation made by Prof. Richard Vlosky, Ph.D.
Director, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center Louisiana, USA on 7 June 2005 at Ministry of Enterprise development and Investment promotion, to members of Wood Based Industrialists in Sri Lanka- Seminar organized by University of Sri Jayewardenpeura, Export Development Board, Ministry of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and Wood Based Industrialists Association

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Sri Lanka is one of the smallest, but biologically diverse countries in Asia. Consequently it is recognized as a Biodiversity hotspot of global and national importance. Its varied climate and topographical conditions have given rise to this rich species diversity, believed to be the highest in Asia in terms of unit land area.

Much of the species are endemic, a reflection of the island’s separation from the Indian subcontinent since the late Mesozoic. This is especially relevant for mammals, amphibians, reptiles and flowering plants. These species are distributed in a wide range of ecosystems which can be broadly categorized into forest, grassland, aquatic, coastal, marine and cultivated. The diversity of ecosystems in the country has resulted in a host of habitats, which contain high genetic diversity.

Biodiversity includes species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity.

Species diversity – fauna and flora

An interesting feature of the species diversity in Sri Lanka is its high degree of endemism, which is observed in several taxonomic groups. Even more interesting is distribution of endemics. A large proportion is found in the wet zone in the south western region of the island.

Flora – Twenty three percent of the flowering plants are endemic and most of them are confined to the wet evergreen and wet montane forests of the central and southwest part of the country.
Vegetational analysis has resulted in the identification of fifteen different floristic regions with the great majority being found in the wet and intermediate zones. The presence of many floristic regions within a relatively small area is a reflection of the high level of ecosystem diversity in the country.

Fauna
– The fauna of Sri Lanka is as diverse as the flora. While sharing common features with the neighboring subcontinent, the fauna exhibits very high endemism among the less mobile groups. With taxonomical revisions and descriptions of new species the number of species in each group keeps changing.

For endemic species, the distribution patterns are similar to the flora: the wet zone has many more endemic species than the dry zone. In terms of mammals, birds and fishes, the three major groups that are well studies in Sri Lanka, each group has a different distribution pattern.

Genetic diversity

Genetic diversity is the component of biodiverstiy that this least documented. Almost all of the available information is confined to economically important agricultural crops. The Plant Genetic Resource Centre (PGRC) at Gannuoruwa, Peradeniya has collected and preserved propagative material of a large number of species from various agro-climatic zones of the country. For example PGRC has germoplasm materials of 3194 traditional varieties and cultivars, and 17 wild relatives of Rice (Oryza sativa).

For fauna, there have been some studies on elephants (Elephas maximus) and leopards (Panthera pardus), which indicate a decrease in genetic diversity as a consequence of natural isolation from Indian sub-continent.

Ecosystem diversity

There is a wide range of ecosystem diversity in the island. The major natural ecosystems in the country are forests, grasslands, inland wetlands, and coastal and marine ecosystems. It also includes agricultural ecosystems.

Forests varying from wet evergreen forests (both lowland and montane), dry mixed evergreen forests to dry thorn forests. Grasslands are found in montane and low country Inland wetlands include a complex network of rivers and freshwater bodies. Marine ecosystems include sea-grass beds, coral reefs, estuaries and lagoons and mangrove swamps.

Sri Lanka: One of 25 World’s Biodiversity Hot Spots

Sri Lanka has been identified by the environment activist group Conservation International (CI) as one of 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world.
These hot spots could have maximum benefit by preservation efforts, the magazine said in a cover story titled “Heroes for the Planet: Earth Angles”. The U.S.-based CI said that together with Western India, Sri Lanka, the island in the Indian ocean, accounts for 2,180 plant species that are unique to each hot spot. Sri Lanka’s tropical rain forest ecosystem is considered as an area which is disturbed by human activity, but still exceptionally rich in animal and plant species found nowhere else.
Reference:
Environment Division, Ministry of Transport, Environment and Women’s Affairs (1994) Strategy for the preparation of a biodiversity action plan for Sri Lanka. Prepared by IUCN and Ministry of TEWA. Forest Sector Master Plan (1995) Forestry Planning Unit, Minsitry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry. 

Ecotourism

Ecotourism

Sri Lanka is one of the 25 Biodiversity hot spots of the world. The country has the highest Biodiversity per 10,000 square km in Asia. Fifteen (15) distinct bio regions in an area of 62,500 square km each offering different landscapes and wildlife opportunities – with an ancient civilization contemporary to that of the Greeks and Romans and numerous cultural sites of antiquity, including six world heritage sites – Sri Lanka has an exotic and vibrant resource base of Ecotourism.

Sinharaja world heritage forest

Sinharaja world heritage Forest is a unique rain forest on the island which apart from very limited use by local people has been left largely undisturbed.

Biodiversity of the forest is very high, a staggering 830 of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of flora and fauna are found here, including myriad birds, reptiles and insects, while no less than sixty percent of the reserve’s trees are also endemic to the country and some endemic to the Sinharaja Forest itself.

There are two entrances to the forest. Most popular one is on the north side of the forest at Kudawa (see Sinharaja trail map), and the other one is at Mederipitiya about 11km east of Deniyaya.

Wild Life Sanctuaries and National Parks

Sri Lanka’s contains about 24 wildlife reserves, these are home to a wide range of native species such as elephants, leopard, sloth bear, the unique small loris, a verity of deer, the purple faced leaf monkey, the endangered wild boar, porcupines and ant-eaters. Reptiles include vipers and marsh and estuarine crocodiles. Among many amphibians endemic to the country are the Nanophyrys frogs in the hills. Most of the fish are river or marsh dwelling- the trout, introduced by the British are found in the cool streams of the Horton plains.

All wildlife reserves are for the protection of wildlife and plants though the categories differ. There are few “Strict Nature Reserves” (Ritigala, Hakgala), which are set aside for research work only. “National Parks” managed by Department of wildlife conservation are open to visitation. The largest National Parks are Ruhuna-Yala, Gal-oya, Uda Walawe, Wilpattu, Minneriya-Girithale, Horton Plains and Wasgomuwa. “Nature Reserves” provide suitable habitats for wildlife by allow limited human activity, while “Sanctuaries” allow human activities (eg. Khalle Pallekele Sanctuary).

Forests managed by Forest department also attract ecotourists. These forests include Sinharaja world heritage site (which is also man and biosphere site), Kithulgala Forest Reserve, Knuckles forest range and the highland peak wilderness and Adams Peak.

Bird Sanctuaries

Sri Lanka also an ornithologist’s paradise with over 250 resident species, mostly found in the wet zone. The Kumana sanctuary in the southeast, and Bundala (famous for flamingoes), Kalametiya and Weerawila sanctuaries between Tissamaharama and Hambantota in the south, all with lagoons are the principal bird sanctuaries

Bellanwila-Attidiya sanctuary close to Colombo and Kurulu-kele Vegetation in Kegalle are also some other bird watching areas.

Other sites of interest

Yagirala Forest and Field Research station – Rain forest situated in Kalutara district and part of the forest is managed by Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. This is used for field activities of forestry students and for research, and can be reserved for visitors and visiting foreign students and researchers (more details….).Waterfalls – The island is blessed with 103 rivers and streams radiating from the central hills, rushing down rocky precipices forming a number of roaring waterfalls of various shapes and heights, all ending up loosing the momentum at the Indian Ocean. Some of the most picturesque waterfalls include Diyaluma, St. Claires, Devon falls and Bopath Ella.

Wetlands – These are unique ecosystems with numerous bird life some with mangrove vegetation. eg. Muthurajawela mangroves, Negombo mangrove ecosystem, madu ganga and Bolgoda Lake.

Botanical Gardens – There are three botanical gardens in Sri Lanka: Peradeniya,
Hakgala and Gampaha- Henerathgoda.

Zoological Gardens – Dehiwala zoo is one of the most attractive in Asia. The 15 ha of undulating ground is beautifully laid out with shrubs, flowering trees and plants, orchids, lakes and fountains. There are over 2000 animals include large collection of birds, elephants, sloth bear, leopard, civets, and other small cats, many kinds of lizard, crocodiles and snakes. Lions, tigers, jaguars, black panthers, and many exotic species such as hippopotami, rhinos, giraffes and kangaroos. The aquarium has over 500 species of fish.

Museums – The National Museum in Colombo 7, set in an elegant white Neoclassical building and opened in 1877. It has a large collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, porcelain and Kandyan regalia.
The Natural History Museum is just behind the National Museum. Exhibits here include stuffed leopards, pickled snakes and presentations of the islands ecology and biodiversity.
The regular meetings of Young Biologists’ Association are held in the third floor of the Natural History Museum building.

Elephant orphanages – Pinnewala Elephant orphanage is one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. Pinnewala is home to the world’s most largest troupe of captive elephants, from dignified elderly to the cutest of babies.