The Knuckles Conservation Forest was declared a Conservation Forest by the Forest Department in 2000 and an Environmental Protection Area under the National Environmental Act, in 2007. The forest provides vital watershed services, important for socio-economic development downstream. It also contains distinct biodiversity with over ten point-endemic faunal species already documented.
The PuwakpitiyaOya basin is an important highland area connected to the Moragahakanda irrigation development project. It also contributes significantly in securing habitats for point-endemic freshwater fish. However, watershed degradation due to deforestation, agricultural land conversion and growing settlements, is causing the depletion of water supply and springs upstream.The main objective of the project is to enhance the biodiversity and ecosystem services of this area. Project is being implemented by Biodiversity Sri Lanka in collaboration with IUCN Sri Lanka.
Collection of baseline data on ecological and socio-economic status of the project area.
Identification of interventions to rehabilitate Puwakpitiya watershed (areas/ community/ main plant species etc.).
Further development of visitor facilities at Ilukkumbura Visitor Centre of the Forest Department.
Carrying out awareness events targeting communities, state and provincial officials and children
Development of livelihood opportunities linked to agro forestry products and sustainable ecotourism.
Project initiated in: 2015