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Environmental ministry to submit a proposal to conserve the ocean area from Mannar to Rameshwaram

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Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment has decided to submit a report to the Cabinet with all scientific facts in this regard in order to protect the highly sensitive ecological zones in our country.

The evaluation report prepared by Prof. Sewwandi Jayakody for the protection of highly sensitive ecological zones in Sri Lanka was handed over to the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera last week. Prof. Sewwandi Jayakody is a professor who has conducted a large number of studies on environmental issues as well as its safety. She has also done extensive research on the mangrove system in Sri Lanka.

Currently, Indian fishermen are wreaking havoc in the Sri Lankan seas using bottom trawling. About 3000 Indian fishing boats enter our sea zone three days a week and destroy our marine resources.

During his tenure as the Minister of Fisheries, he had lengthy discussions with the Government of India in this regard, where he stated for the first time that the Government of India acknowledged the great damage being done by Indian fishermen to our country’s oceans and that they had taken alternative measures said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

He also sought the support of the Government of India in this regard.

However, many species of protected marine species, such as dolphins, blue whales and turtles, migrate to this sea zone. This region is also important for the breeding of fish in our coastal areas. Therefore, the Cabinet will be notified to declare the sea zone from Mannar to Rameshwaram as a High Sensitive Ecological ocean Zone.

The report also stressed the need to designate the Trincomalee Ocean Zone and the Galle, Matara and Hambantota South Ocean Zones as Highly Sensitive Marine Ecological Zones.

Presenting the report, Prof. Sewwandi Jayakody requested the Minister to inform the Cabinet of Ministers to amend the Circulars on the Powers of Divisional Secretaries regarding the remaining other forest lands. He emphasized that a large number of endangered species of flora and fauna of Sri Lanka live in this other forests and that the relentless clearing of the forest has threatened the flora and fauna.

Attention has been drawn to the immediate revision of the Circular on the remaining other forest lands. The Minister also said that the Presidential Task Force on Sustainable economy through the mitigate to Climate Change has decided to re-examine the other forest lands and take necessary steps to prevent the clearing of the remaining forest lands belonging to high sensitivity ecological zones until they are identified.

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