A community based ecosystem project related to the Malwathu Oya basin in Anuradhapura.
The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera says that the Ministry of Environment has taken steps to launch a project to conserve the favorable ecosystem in the Malwathu Oya basin in Anuradhapura. Malwathu Oya is the second longest river in the river system of Sri Lanka. Its length is 164 km. (106 miles.)
This program is being implemented under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Project on Integrated Management of Forests, Agriculture and Tourism through a Community Based Ecosystem Approach.
Accordingly, this program is being implemented as a pilot project in the Anuradhapura, Mannar, Vavuniya and Puttalam districts around the Malwathu Oya basin. Global Environment Facility has provided US$ four million for this project for the period 2021-24.
Many globally endangered species are endemic to the Malwathu Oya basin. Therefore, the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the officials to implement this project while protecting the habitats of these species under good coordination.
The Malwathu Oya Ecosystem Project is designed to protect biodiversity as well as the livelihood development of the people living in these areas.
Also, four pilot landscapes covered by this project have been identified so far.
1. Maminiya Oya, Upper Kanadara Oya, Upper Weli Oya and Lower Weli Oya in the upper Malwathu Oya basin (from Mihintale to Ritigala)
2. Up to Mavillu Conservation Forest and Lower Madu para and Wilpattu National Park
3. Land and adjoining coastline bordering Malwathu Oya, Wankalai, Arippu, and Silawathura coral reefs, Bay of Mannar
4. The number of beneficiaries is approximately 240,000 direct beneficiaries.
The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the project has identified several livelihood development projects under the Malwathu Oya community based environmental project and that further necessary financial allocations will be made for this purpose under the Surakimu Ganga program.