Sri Lanka president calls for action against unethical deforestation

President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials at a progress review meeting held at the Department of Forest Conservation to cancel the licences of mill owners with illegal timber in their possession.

He also discussed the need to implement strict legal measures against illegal timber harvesting and the importance of curtailing activities that cause further destruction to forests.

Moreover, the meeting focussed on the need to restrict the registration of carpentry sheds and the progress of the government’s decision to ban the use of electric saws.

Other issues discussed included the reallocation of land unutilised by the Land Reform Commission and the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation to increase the country’s forest density, which is expected to contribute to 32 percent forest cover by 2030.

As World Environment Day approaches in June, plans were discussed for possible forest conservation efforts and tree planting programmes.