Project Background

First Stage

Biodiversity Sri Lanka in partnership with the Forest Department, IUCN Sri Lanka and selected private sector partners, has undertaken a pilot project to establish the biodiversity baseline in a 10 ha block of degraded land, in the Kanneliya Conservation Forest. The site is best described as a degraded rainforest which has been cleared for cultivation and subsequently abandoned resulting in the colonization by the pioneer fern species Dicranopteris linearis (Kekeilla). The site is surrounded by Wet Lowland Rainforest. The intension is to restore this patch of highly degraded rainforest using principles of restoration ecology to enhance its ecological functions, habitat quality, species diversity and its capacity to provide biodiversity and ecosystem services that is in close approximation to what prevailed before it was converted to its present state.

The project aims to develop a biodiversity credit accrual system for Sri Lanka using the insights derived, with the objective of assigning a unit value for enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem services. Working with experts both locally and internationally, the modality for establishing a biodiversity credit accrual mechanism, in par with international requirements and standards will be undertaken. The ultimate aim of the project is to support the development of policies and tools to utilize the accrued credits in a sustainable manner in consultation with national agencies.

The first phase of the project which consisted of undertaking a baseline biodiversity survey was completed by IUCN. The site supports very low species diversity when compared to the adjacent forest with fewer numbers of endemic species and no recorded threatened species.

Partners of the First Stage  

Expolanka Holdings PLC

Access Engineering PLC

MAS Holdings (pvt)Ltd.

Second Stage

Restoration Programme

The restoration program will take place over a period of five years, carried out in two phases. Phase 1 (the first two years) will focus on site preparation, establishment of nurseries, updating species inventories in the restoration and reference sites and setting up a long term monitoring programme with planting of more robust native species. Phase 2 (next three years) will focus on increasing the diversity of the site by planting more native species once the ground conditions of the site are made more conducive for receiving sensitive species.

The entire programme will be monitored carefully using standard protocol which will focus on physical progress in respect to established milestones, achievement of restoration goals with changes in species diversity and composition in the restored area towards the conditions that exist in the reference site and measurable changes in ecosystem services such as improvement in soil and water quality and quantity within the restoration site.

Creating a Biodiversity Credit Accrual System for Sri Lanka

In parallel, creating a biodiversity credit system for Sri Lanka will commence, notably, to design, test and finalize a credit system that is feasible yet credible in view of the stakeholders both at home and abroad. More specifically this will involve:

*Scoping out the broad   parameters, attributes and focus of a potential biodiversity credit scheme for Sri Lanka, clarifying the purpose of the credit scheme itself and the expectation in terms of the benefit to the society and members of Biodiversity Sri Lanka.

*Designing, institutionalizing, testing and finalizing a robust, credible biodiversity credit scheme for Sri Lanka that is tailored to and is feasible for implementation under Sri Lankan conditions;

*Establishing international co-operation with one or more well reputed organizations to lend professional support and recognition for the Biodiversity Credit System for Sri Lanka on a recurrent basis.

Partners of the Second Stage

JETWING Hotel

Siam City Cement (Lanka) Limited

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Hatton National Bank PLC

Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC

Virtusa (Pvt.) Ltd.

Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC.

People’s Leasing Finance PLC

Sampath Bank PLC

Project Activities

Phase I – Site preparation, establishment of nurseries, updating species inventories in the restoration and reference sites and setting up a long term monitoring programme with planting of more robust native species

Phase II – Increasing the diversity of the site by planting more native species once the ground conditions of the site are made more conducive for receiving sensitive species.

The entire programme will be monitored carefully using standard protocol that focuses on physical progress with respect to established milestones, achievement of restoration goals with changes in species diversity and composition in the restored area towards the conditions that exist in the reference site and measurable changes in ecosystem services such as the improvement in soil and water quality and quantity within the restoration site.

In parallel to the project, the creation of a Biodiversity Credit Accrual System for Sri Lanka will commence, to design, test and finalize a credit system that is feasible and credible in view of the stakeholders both at home and abroad.

Project initiated in: February 2018

Status: Launched

Project Site

Project News

May

We are delighted to inform you that BSL signed Partnership Agreements with its Patron Member – Sampath Bank and General Member – Citizen Business Development Finance (CDB) for the LIFE Project, in which the main objective is to restore a 10ha degraded fern land located in Opatha, Kanneliya using scientific principles of ecological restoration, on 17th May 2018 at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies.

On behalf of Sampath Bank – Mr. Aruna Jayasekara, Group Chief Human Resource Officer and from CDB – Mr. Damith Tennakoon, Deputy Chief Executive Officer signed the respective agreement. On behalf of BSL, its Chairman/ CEO, DILMAH Ceylon Tea Company Mr. Dilhan C. Fernando signed the agreements. Prof. Devaka Weerakoon, Chief Scientist of the Project also took part in the event, in addition to representatives from both institutions and BSL.

With the signing of these two agreements, BSL has entered into partnership agreements with 10 member companies for this 5 year project. Forest Department of Sri Lanka has backed this project since its conceptualization. IUCN Sri Lanka acts as the chief technical partner of the project.

April
  • Biodiversity SriLanka(BSL) signed an MoU with IUCN – Sri Lanka for the implementation of the LIFE Project on 11th of April 2018. Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, IUCN Country Representative signed the MoU on behalf of IUCN.  For BSL, representing the BSL Director Board, Mr. Chandrarathna Vithanage and Mr. Vasanatha Leelananda signed it. This MoU is a five year partnership and it confirms IUCN’s role as the Project’s Technical Partner who will implement project activities as per the Project’s Monitoring and Management Plan developed during the first stage of the project
  • Conservator General, Mr. Aruna Sathurusingha has directed the Forest Department Office in Galle to undertake a GPS survey of the site allocated for the LIFE Project. This GPS survey will be done to fence the project site in order to protect project plants once they have been planted from herbivores. On behalf of the Forest Department, Thawalama Range Forest Office will carry out this survey.
  • March
  • Sampath Bank became the 9th Private Sector Partner of the LIFE Project We are delighted to welcome our Patron Member, Sampath Bank on board as the 9th Private Sector Partner of the LIFE Project.
  • BSL signed an MOU with the Conservator General Mr. Anura Sathurusinghe for the LIFE Project on 6th of March 2018 at the Forest Department
  • Project Launch

    BSL launched its landmark multi-sectoral multi partner LIFE project formally on the 7th of February 2018 at the MJF Centre for Dignified & Sustainable Empowerment at Katubedda with the participation of conservationists, representatives of top corporates, media and undergraduates from the Universities of Colombo, Moratuwa and Sri Jayewardenepura.

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    Biodiversity Sri Lanka's 'Life' Project: A multi-company, public-private partnership for a landmark collaboration on ecological restoration

    Posted by Biodiversity Sri Lanka on Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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