Fundraising for Rainforest Conservation and Education Centre
The Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest is the last remaining virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka. It exhibits the highest biodiversity in all of the island and is well known for its birds, especially rare species endemic to Sri Lanka: e.g. the beautiful Sri Lanka blue magpie, the red-faced malkoha and the Sri Lanka hanging parrot. In fact, of the 26 bird species endemic to Sri Lanka, more than 20 can be easily found in Sinharaja. Mammals of the Sinharaja Rainforest include the endemic purple-faced leaf monkey, the torque monkey, the fishing cat, the rusty spotted cat, the barking deer, the mouse deer, the sambur, the giant squirrel, the occasional and elusive Sri Lanka leopard and the even rarer black leopard.
While 11,427 hectares of the Sinharaja Rainforest are currently protected as an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Rainforest, thousands of hectares of rainforest directly adjoining it remain unprotected and are constantly being destroyed through encroachment, illegal logging and various construction activities. Since 2012, our volunteer-based organization, Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka, has been engaged in both campaigns and conservation projects to protect these pristine eco systems. However, the lack of a conservation center close to the rainforest has been a considerable obstacle to successfully carrying out the organization’s conservation activities.
An ideal property spanning 6 acres of rainforest, with a new house under construction and almost complete, is currently on sale in the vicinity. The property is located just 25 meters away from the Kalawana-Rakwana main road, close to Weddagala junction on the way to the Sinharaja Rainforest and just 8 km from its main entrance. The property’s central location provides access to the entire northern section of the Sinharaja Rainforest, from Kalawana to the north-eastern side of Rakwana, and is easily accessible for visiting tourists. A beautiful large stream flows through the land; its origin, the Kotanakanda forest reserve, directly borders the property’s north and north-east boundary.
Establishing the proposed Rainforest Conservation and Education Center will help our organization coordinate conservation projects and campaigns efficiently, educate tourists visiting Sinharaja about the threats the rainforest faces and about our conservation efforts, educate school children and villagers nearby, set up a native-plant nursery for critically endangered flora and offer a base for carrying out research, among many more possibilities.
The cost of this property is Rs. 150 lakhs (US$ 100,000). Rainforest Protectors Trust, a Trust registered under the Land Registry of Sri Lanka, is urgently seeking funds to purchase the property for the purpose of setting up this first Conservation and Education Center for our volunteer-based organization, the Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka. We urge you visit our website below either to donate or to contact us and help our organization achieve this important goal, the conservation of this unique, beautiful and threatened eco system.