Groundwater Exploration Study in the Medigama- Ahangama, Sri Lanka

The present research study was conducted in the Medigama fruit farm area to identify the groundwater recharg ing areas and how the levels of the groundwater correlate different other environmental parameters. The study area is located within the 80° 22´ longitudes and 5° 90´ latitudes in the Southern coastal area of Sri Lanka. The area receives about 1900mm of mean annual rainfall while owing to mean annual temperature of about 25°C. The dug wells available in the farm and surrounding area were used to explore the groundwater. Within this context, favourable areas for groundwater resources were determined by observing the dug wells and measuring geomor phologic characteristics like the elevation, morphological valleys and aquifers. The analysis of these parameters indicated the South-east region where the dug wells are located, as the most favourable area for groundwater recharge. An unconfined aquifer was distributed in the study area which is consisted with sandy clay and laterite. Therefore it is permeable and the recovery rate too is high in the dug wells. As the atmospheric precipi tation has a great impact on the groundwater level, it was monitored for a period of 22 months and the results were plotted in hydrographs. The results revealed that the groundwater level is not descended below 3.5m for 3 months continuing drought in the dug well 3 area and during the atmospheric precipitation period water level is stabilized in 1.00m below ground level.

Pumping test was conducted in dug wells to identify the aquifer characteristics and ideal pumping rates. It was discovered that if the pumping test continues nearly 3.7 hours at a rate of 49.7 litres/ minute and ground water level 2.54m from ground level and withdrawn water quantity is 11033.9 litres. Moreover, groundwater quality in the wells outside the farm area and the water samples collected during the pumping test were analysed and found out that the physical and chemical parameters are under WHO and Sri Lankan standards.

Wood inhabiting macro-fungi in tropical landscape and home-gar den trees: Their diversity and roles

Wood is a biodegradable natural resource, and is often affected by various wood-inhabiting fungi. Hence, this study was carried out to investigate the diversity and impact of macro-fungi on landscapes and home-gardens in semi-urbanized areas in Colombo suburbs. Wood inhabiting, rotting and/or decomposing macro-fungi from landscape and home-gardens in this area were represented by many fungal groups; cup, jelly, toothed, polypores and gilled fungi. Sixty three species of wood-inhabiting fungi were recorded in this study, and basidiomycetes and ascomycetes accounted for 60 and 3 species respectively. The majority was gilled fungi recording 40 species whereas pored fungi, jelly fungi, toothed fungi and cup fungi recorded 16, 2, 2 and 3 respectively. Some key observations made from this study were white rot causing pored fungi, Ganoderma spp. caused a severe impact and ultimately demised the live landscape trees and Lentinus sajor-caju was abundant on the basal stem of live standing Tabebuia rosea, but it did not cause a significant damage to the tree health. Further, fifty eight fungal species were found on standing dead trees, stumps and fallen logs of various tropical tree species. Cocos nucifera recorded the highest species richness harbouring 21 fungal species including white rot and brown rot fungi. Results of this study revealed that most fungal species, common in this area were not host specific, and affected most of wood species.

K.M.E.P. Fernando
Department of Botany, University of Sri Jayewardenepura


Integrated pest and vector management (IPVM) has become a popular concept that reduces heavy use of pesticides and controls vector borne diseases such as Malaria. These IPVM practices include vector manage ment practices in addition to the techniques of conventional integrated pest management (IPM). A number of programmes have been implemented in Sri Lanka through Farmer Fields Schools (FFS) with the sponsorships of FAO, UNDP and WHO. However, the level of success and the cost-effectiveness of these programmes have not been evaluated. With this background, a study was carried out to find whether the intended ecological and economic benefits have been achieved.
Of the IPVM sites, Kiriibbanwewa in Embilipitiya was chosen for the study. A stratified random sample of 40 farmers to represent different stages of FFSs was chosen to collect the necessary data. This was supplemented by a participatory rural appraisal. The data were subjected to cost-benefit analysis. The study found that more than 50% of farmers who were trained in FFS several years ago, still use IPVM practices. Of the various compo nents of IPVM, it was revealed that farmers mostly used the conventional practices compared to newly intro duced practices. Compared to the control group, IPVM farmers had a lower cost of production, mainly due to cutting down of the costs for agrochemicals and savings of seed paddy. However, the intended ecological benefits were not achieved. The study revealed that more attempts should be made by the authori ties to popularize the vector management component in IPVM, in order to achieve maximum benefits.

N.A.A.P.Nissanka and L.H.P.Gunartne
Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Peradeniya.

Herbage Quality and Animal Performance in a Coconut Cattle Inte grated System

The effect of controlled grazing on the natural herbage growing in coconut plantation on the performance of cross-bred heifers as well as on herbage yield, botanical composition and the quality were examined in an experiment for one year duration in a coconut estate at Kotawila, Kamburugamuwa. There were four treatments namely coconut without fertilizer (T1); coconut with fertilizer (CRI recommended levels) (T2); heifers grazed natural herbage (T3); and heifers grazed natural herbage with tree fodder (2 kg/d) and concentrate supplement (250 g/d) (T4). The experiment design was a RCBD with 3 replicates and the stocking rate was 2 heifers/ 0.4 ha. The daily weight gain (19.60 g/head/d) and body condition (-0.07) were poor when no feed supplements were given. Provision of tree fodder and concentrate (Gava thriposha) greatly improved the daily weight gain (28.23 g/ head/d) and body condition (0.09) of heifers. It was also observed that the season had an influence on growth and body condition.

Herbage yield was higher in T2 as compared to T1 due to non grazing and fertilizer application. When compared the two treatments with animals, herbage yield of T4 were higher due to low grazing pressure imposed by supplementation. The N percentage of herbage also showed a similar trend. Over grazing without supplements (T3) would have depleted the soil and herbage N, and thereby conservation of N through recirculation within the animal. The dry period would have aggravated this condition by reducing the dung decomposition rate and increasing the urine evaporation rate. Grazing also improved the botanical composition of herbage. T3 and T4 treatments contained 55.35, 18.84 and 25.82% of grasses, legumes and other species, respectively. Herbage of T1 and T2 contained 18.5, 22.54 and 58.96% of grasses, legumes and other species, respectively. Axonopus affinus, A. compressus and Puraria phaseoloides like prostate species were dominant in T3 and T4 while Ocimum tenuiflorum and Urena lobota and Eupatorium odoratum like upland erect weed species were dominant in T1 and T2.

The results show that the integrated management system based on coconut and cattle, could achieve sustain able improvements on stock performance, even within a short period of time. Actual benefits should be investi gated in the long term.

B Piyadigama1, L Kumanayaka 1, R T Seresinhe1, M de S Liyanage2
1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of agriculture,
University of Ruhuna.
2 Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna.

The Human Right to Development and the Environmental Justice: An Aspect of Environmental Law

The Objective of this study is to examine the international legal regime on the right to development as a human right and its implication for environmental justice in the context of Environmental Law. This study involves an examination of the relevant international Declarations and Conventions.

Law is a regulation of human conduct so the Professors of Jurisprudence say in the broad sense. Environmental law in particular is an instrument containing a body of rules to protect and improve environment and control or prevent any act or omission causing environmental destruction and conservation of natural resources. Today the protection of environment is a global issue which concerns all countries irrespective of their size, level of development or ideology. It refers to the principle of sustainable development accepted as a key element in the reconciliation between the values of environment and needs of development in modern times.

The idea of integrated human rights as an international concern was first declared in the Charter of the United Nations in 1945 and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and later in subsequent international instruments. Accordingly, unity of all rights- civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights were recognized. In 1986 UN General Assembly adopted Declaration on the Right to Devel opment which marks the culmination of a long process of international campaigning for right to development which was endorsed by the UN Vienna Declaration in 1993 and the subsequent international instruments. The Declaration on the Right to Development elaborates the point that the approach to development under the Declaration is substan tially different from the usual approach to economic development pre-occupied with the growth of output of material product and marketable services. The right to development refers to a process of development which leads to the realization of human rights and of all of them together and which has to be carried out in a manner known as rights- based, in accordance with the international human rights standards, as a participatory, non discriminatory, accountable and transparent process with equity in decision making and the sharing of fruits of the process. According to the Declaration, the right to develop ment is a right of human beings but with concomitant individual and collective obliga tions. The States are also charged with the responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favourable to the realization of the right to development.

However, during the past decades, the right to development has been transformed to a multi- dimensional human right aimed at contributing to the protection of economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights. Right to development is recognized as a comprehensive economic, social and political process which pursues constant improvement of the well being of human beings. However, the right to develop ment should be fulfilled so as to equitably meet the social, developmental and environ mental needs of the present and future generations. Thus, the time has come to think of a right to sustainable development, the expression explicitly referred to in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in order to reconcile to debate on the right to environment and the right to development in an effort towards environmental justice.

S. Sarath Mathilal de Silva
Department of Commerce , University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Emission Trading As Green Solution: Legal Perspective

The present study throws light on the usefulness of Emission Trading as Green Solution in present scenario. Emission trading principle initiated from the technocracy movement which proposed Energy Accounting System in 1930s. Now this is recognized as Emission Trading in Kyoto Protocol which came into force on February 16th, 2005. The obligations of signatory countries are: Reduction of emission of Green House Gases (hereinafter GHGs) notified in Annex-I of Kyoto Protocol and engaging in emission trading if the signatory nations maintain or increase the emission of GHGs.

Emission trading brings flexibility to this strict obligation. It aims at achieving the mandate of emission limitation for reduction of GHGs in the signatory nations. It is a cap and trade system under Kyoto. ‘Cap’ is the limit (national level commitments) which is set by the government agency on the amount of emission of the notified pollutants. The pollutant emit ters are required to hold equivalent number of credits or allowances representing the right to emit a specific amount, so that the amount of credits should not exceed the cap.

Kyoto has classified signatory countries into two categories, firstly, Annex-I countries (developed countries), which accept GHGs reduction obligations and have to submit Greenhouse Gas Inventory (hereinafter GGI) and non-Annex-I countries (developing countries), which have no GHG emis sion reduction obligations and may participate in Clean Development Mechanism (hereinafter CDM). Thus, emission trading is carried out by Annex- I countries. They buy credits from non-Annex-I economies (CDM) or from Annex-I countries under Joint Implementation or Annex-I countries with excess allowances.

Non-compliance in first commitment period (2008-2012) will attract penal ization under which the Annex-I country will have to submit 1.3 emission allowances in the second commitment period on per ton gas emissions. It is said that the individual targets of Annex-I parties will result in a total cut of 5% in GHG emissions from 1990 levels. Emission trading as a green solution has been criticized on many grounds. Practically, most countries devolve their emission targets to individual industrial entities. Hence, the ultimate buyers of credit are often indi vidual companies which in turn will put the monetary burden of such cred its on the consumers. It is also politically popular because of its vul nerability to lobbying. It is expected that even without Kyoto Protocol obligations by year 2010, there will be a 29 % cut in GHGs.

On the whole, the major reason of its criticism is that of the benchmark taken and the percentage of the reduction. Without these two, the authen ticity of emission trading cannot be proved as it has some adverse ef fects too, which might hinder the development of developing countries.
Category/Keywords: None / *

Neha Bahl ‘and’ Priti Prasad
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Sustainability and equity in emerging energy policy developments:

Oil and to a lesser extent natural gases and coal are the foundations of current civilization. The fast depleting oil and natural gas resources, growing global concerns on climate change and environmental pollution, widening gap between the rich and the poor, over-consumerism and increasing instability of conventional energy markets have re-highlighted the importance of incorporating sustainability and equity in emerging energy policy and planning, the two issues that were in the world priority agenda for decades. Do emerging energy policies introduced in countries adequately respond to these two important aspects?

This paper critically looks at the energy policies of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to investigate how far sustainability and equity are reflected in national energy policies as important guidelines. “Integrated Energy Policy – India: Report of the Expert Committee”, “New and Renewable Energy Policy Statement 2005 – India”, “Policy for the Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation – Pakistan”, “National Energy Conservation Policy – Pakistan”, “National Energy Policy and Strategies – Sri Lanka” and “Sustainable Energy Authority Act – Sri Lanka” are analyzed to see how “sustainability” and “equity” are included as cosmetics in policy documents to achieve different objectives (such as to bringing the energy sector under market mechanisms so that profit earning is possible) and comparative strengths and weaknesses of country policies mentioned above when the policies do address the concerns of sustainability and equity. Availability of concrete and dedicated plans to achieve energy independence and security, diversified fuel mixes with signification renewable elements, energy conservation and demand-side management and for R&D are used as guidelines in investigating “sustainability”. How effective the emerging policies would be in addressing the energy needs of the poor and the low income groups and closing the disparity gap of energy use would be the guidelines assess “equity”.

P Jayasinhe, D Witharana
Allhene Road, Maharagama

Impact of Irrigation Development on Livelihoods – Walawe Left Bank Irrigation Upgrading and Extension Project, Southern Sri Lanka

This paper examines the impact of irrigation development on livelihoods of rural communities based on a study implemented in an irrigation development project in southern Sri Lanka. Though irrigation development is one main strategy for socioeconomic development and poverty eradication in many developing countries in the world, it is perceived to have both positive and negative impacts, especially on natural resources like forest, wetland and other land resources and ecosystems on which the livelihood activities of the rural communities are dependent upon. The rational behind the study is to further examine both negative and positive impacts of irrigation development on livelihoods and propose measures for mitigating the negative ones. In the study areas were selected in different stages of irrigation development such as post-development, during development and pre-development to compare and contrast the impact of irrigation development. It applied multiple methods, both qualitative and quantitative, in data collection. In the analysis of data, sustain able livelihood framework was applied in order to understand how the irrigation development project has contributed to assure sustainable livelihood.

The study substantiates that people have opportunities for more reliable livelihood and income earning opportunities in irrigated areas compared to those during irrigation development and pre-development stages. More people with high education levels, more households with permanent houses, sanitary facilities and better living standard are found in areas in post irrigation development stages indicating the positive impacts on irrigation development on livelihoods. Due to the impacts of irrigation development projects, the people in the areas in post development stages have easy access to facilities such as improved roads, hospitals, schools, post offices etc. The communities in areas during irrigation development have serious problems such as non availability of lands for cultivation and livestock keeping as forest and scrub jungles areas used by them for slash and burn and grazing their animals are developed for irrigation. They also have lost opportu nity to collect Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) for consumption and earning a little cash income by marketing them. In the areas under predeveloped stage, small tanks have no adequate water to cultivate two crops a year and the forests used by them for slash and burn too have been disappeared in the recent past due to too much exploitation with the population growth. This has created a chronic poverty situation in the areas in pre-development stage.

Though there are many positive impacts of irrigation development on livelihoods of people as observed in the areas in post development stage, the study highlights some negative impacts too. The recurrent conflicts among the irrigation communities over water, development of salinity in the down stream areas and use of fertilizer and agrochemicals which too have negative impacts on the environment could be observed in the areas in post development stage. In addition, landlessness and poverty among the second and third genera tion members of settler communities in the areas in the post development stage raises the question whether irrigation development alone could lead to sustainable livelihoods.

P G Somarathne, K Jinapala, T Rebecca
IWMI, Palawatte, Battaramulla

Land Fragmentation for building residences and Environmental Degradation in Sri Lanka (with reference to Gampaha District)

Many Environmental problems including elimination of tropical forests, desertification, and reduction in biodiversity, are most clearly evident in the Third World. While rapid population growth is often considered an important factor in this environmental degradation, solid empirical evi dence on its role is almost nonexistent. Understanding the effects of population on the environment requires careful consideration of the full range of factors responsible for environmental deterioration and of how they interact with demographic factors. The nature of this relationship is heavily determined by land use patterns and agricultural policies adopted by governments. This paper describes some of the relationships between population growth, land fragmentation for building houses and environmental degradation. Most studies linking population factors and the environment focus on the impact of population growth on resource use. While population size and growth rates are important determinants of resource use, population movements also affect, and are affected by, the natural environment.

This study uses both primary and secondary data. Primary data was col lected from Imbulgoda area in Gampaha district. 100 families were se lected from two housing schemes. Interview method and observation method were used to collected primary data. The objectives of the study are: Identify the reasons for land fragmentation, identify the impact of land fragmentation on environmental degradation and find out the solutions for reducing environmental degradation due to land fragmentation for building residences.

The land is fragmented to very small plots like 12 perch per person. Then there are at least fifteen houses within one acre of land. They have dug wells as water source. So there are 10 to 15 dug wells which reduces underground water level rapidly. They use un-sealed toilet pits and pol lute the underground water very quickly. There is no rain water removing system and numerous social disputes rise among the residents. There is no solid waste management system and they put their waste on the road side and pollute the environment. Due to removal of the upper layer of the soil by land sellers house owners cannot grow any plants. So the govern ment and policy making bodies should take necessary action to control the environmental degradation due to land fragmentation for housing in Sri Lanka.

H.M.Nawarathna Banda
Department of Economics, University of Kelaniya

Ethnobotany of Upper Hantana Catchment Area

products form the backbone of subsistence and local economies in rural communities in the world. In Sri Lanka too forest products are an integral part of the rural economy. This study investigated the ethnobotanical importance of four planted woodlands [(i) Alstonia (ALW), (ii) Paraserianthes (PAW), (iii) mixed species (MSW) and (iv) Pinus (PIW)] and an adjacent natural forest (NF) in the upper Hantana catchment area by stratified random sampling of 75 plots, each 25 m X 20 m. The plant species within and outside the plots were identified. The peripheral communities were surveyed to obtain information on utilization of forest resources.
The woodland products gathered by the community include; timber, fuelwood, wild food, beverages, spices,medicines, foliage, ornamentals and fencing materials, to meet their daily, occasionally and regular needs and were either for sale or domestic use. The highest numbers of utility species gathered were as follows: medicinal species from the NF understorey and ALW overstorey; edible and timber species from the overstorey ALW. Among secondary woodlands, numbers of utility species found were higher in broad-leaved woodland than PIW sites. Pooling both strata and all woodlands together, 91 medicinal, 48 miscellaneous use, 47 timber, 38 edible, 25 ornamental and 7 shade plant species were recorded in the Hantana area. The medicinal value of the site ranked highest compared to the other utilization values.

Forest fringe dwellers preferred fuel wood from natural forest species for domestic use and for sale due to their high calorific value. Extensive interactions of the community with the Hantana catchment forests contribute largely to their degradation. Therefore, harvesting guidelines should be drawn and implemented to protect Hantana forest from illegal and over extraction of forest products.

1R. M. C. S. Ratnayake, 2 I A U N Gunatilleke and 2C V S Gunatilleke
1Department of Botany, University of Kelaniya. 2Department of Botany, University of Peradeniya.