Conservation International (2022)

Petitioning World Wildlife Fund, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, National Wildlife Federation, Conservation International, United Nations Environment Program, United Nations, international …Save Endangered Sri Lankan Elephants-They are on the path to Extinction ! Despite increased efforts to tackle the surge in Human Elephant Conflict due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation, nearly 2844 elephants have been killed by 1991-2010, from then 300 per year have been killed up to now – highlighting the need for urgent international action to address the endangered wildlife crisis in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan elephant Elephas maximus maximusnative to Sri Lanka, had been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 65% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60-75 years. However the declining of elephant population day by day pulls them towards the Critically Endangered category which will ultimately expel them from the earth categorizing them to the category Extinct! The elephant population drastically go down at “alarming pace” with around 4500 remaining currently which also revealed by government auditor general reports-2018, that Sri Lankan elephant is in huge danger of extinction if action is not immediately taken to reverse the current trend toward extinction. But Unfortunately Sri Lankan government unable to address the issue yet.The main threats the species faces in Sri Lanka are:Deforestation, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and degradationObstructing Elephant corridors and Migratory pathwaysWaste Disposal to the elephant gathering areasPoaching and Illegal killing The Sri Lankan elephant was once found throughout the island of Sri Lanka, but is now being pushed into dry zone and pocketed into smaller forest areas. Deforestation, fragmentation of natural habitatsowing to mega development projects, irrigation, infrastructure and human settlements have lead to a continuous contraction of habitats available to elephants and restrict the food gain and water gain of the elephants. Also, Elephant Migratory pathways are entirely blocked by human settlement. Though the Sri Lankan government always speaking about Sustainable development in world summits but nothing had happened so far, for the means of sustainable development! Highways, roads, dams, railway tracks and other mega projects are still building through dense forests and wildlife reserves. No concept of Eco Bridges or any other conservation technology. Conversion of elephant habitat to settlements and permanent cultivation by Deforestation makes a devastating impact on Sri Lanka’s elephant population and government not able to take any single step to minimize deforestation although the country’s primary forest cover remaining in nearly 14%. At the same time, Many elephants have been dying due to starvation, unplanned electrical fencing would intensify this pathetic situation much more. Another major problem is water scarcity within their habitats. Since the natural sources of food are destroyed, they tempt to roam for villages in search of food and water. They unintentionally destroy the cultivation of the villagers in order to quench their prolonging starvation, becoming a pest in Agriculture! This results the initiation of human – elephant conflict and cause the death of many elephants. The resultant Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) has escalated to an alarmingly high proportion at present contributing to a very high mortality of elephants , about 3 elephant deaths per week, a 5% decline annually. Though the whole remaining estimated elephant is lower than 4000 in the country, Every year nearly 300-350 elephants are killed by gunshots, electrocution, planting hakkapatas or Jaw-bombs, snares, man-made traps and pits, poisoning and train accidents. It is very pathetic situation that many wild elephants that roam in the forests today are carrying large numbers of bullets within their bodies and many are blind due to gunshots. Almost many of wild elephants that lucky to save their lives so far, have become disabled by trap guns. The continued intensity of the human elephant conflict would pose a serious threat to the survival of the wild elephant in Sri Lanka and the resultant decline in elephant population will have an adverse impact on the viability of other wildlife as the elephant is a ‘keystone species’ and is critical to the management of its habitat: Since the elephant is a ‘flagship species’ its conservation will result in the maintenance of biological diversity and ecological integrity across a vast area of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was a signatory to the CITES convention, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) is bound to protect its endangered species and prevent their trade in any form, alive or dead. Therefore the Government has a great obligation to protect the wild elephants and to control the poaching but, also an international responsibility as it had signed many international conventions to protect them. Therefore, it is needed to take urgent actions to draft a National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wild Elephants in the country, in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife, Department Forest and Central Environmental Authority. But unfortunately, they were unable to implement a national policy framework for scientific conservation of wild elephants in their natural habitats so far. Some of the main activities conducted for conflict mitigation and elephant conservation in Sri Lanka are translocation by capture-transport, elephant drives, the distribution of elephant thunder crackers, the construction of electric fences and law enforcement. Elephant drives and thunder crackers cannot be considered successful deterrents. In fact, it has been consistently true that these starved, habitat lost giant beings only become more aggressive as a result of these methods. Electric fences are useful, but only as a psychological barrier.Declaring waron wild elephants Recently, at a public forum organized by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, the new Minister for Wildlife announced that rather than take the advice of researchers and conservationists, and implement the National Policy, that he had devised a policy of his own, for a ‘final solution’ to HEC, by adding 2,500 km of electric fencing to the existing 4,500 km, and confining elephants to forested land, by driving them from all places where they have contact with humans. In addition, he announced that 3,500 members of the Civil Defense Force (CDF) will be suitably armed, with Chinese weapons similar to T56 rifles, and placed at regular intervals along the fence to restrict the elephants to where they have been driven to. Suitable ‘guard posts’ will be built, at regular intervals along the fences, for the members of the CDF who will function independently and NOT be under the jurisdiction of the DWC. As there are villages and cultivations in 60% of the landscape of Sri Lanka in which 70% of the elephant population of Sri Lanka live, if the aforementioned estimate of numbers is to be accepted, then almost 4,000 elephants will have to be driven. The only places left would be the protected areas without people which constitute just 18% of the land area of the island and are at carrying capacity for elephants i.e. there is no more food for any additional elephants! Exceeding the carrying capacity would result in elephants starving to death due to a lack of adequate fodder. In addition, the Minister is to increase the number of elephants brought to the Elephant Holding Facility at Horowpathana to 100 elephants, and build another at Lunugamvehera. To these ‘prisons’, according to the Minister, will be sent all male elephants that are caught habituating human cultivation. As this population contain many of the prime breeding bulls in Sri Lanka, the genetic health of future populations, if there are any, will be serious weakened. It is said that Sri Lanka’s elephant population can decrease by more than 50% if the above new Elephant-human conflict mitigation plan proposed by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, wildlife and regional Development is implemented researchers and conservationists said. We strongly believe that the survival of these animals is possibleonly through the protection of their natural habitats. For maintaining such un-fragmented habitats, Elephant corridors are the key.Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that allow elephants to move from one habitat patch to another and securing these is critical to their survival and gene pool.The current scenario is:· In many nations of the world networking of wildlife habitats elephant corridors and restoring private and community lands to wilderness areas is gaining ground. eg; The Relocation of Ram Terrang in India and allocation for a Elephant corridor as a HEC mitigation measure.· Sri Lanka has 70 Elephant corridors and lot of private lands which fall in these corridors has already been secured by Public-private partnerships and Elephants have been seen using these areas increasingly over the years.· Sri Lanka’s forest cover is now drastically decreasing due to rapid growth of human population and urbanization. Therefore this is the last chance to allocation and protection of endangered species in their habitats. For the conservation of elephants basically their natural habitats should be protected. Illegal deforestation of protected lands and national parks should be stopped immediately. All deforestation happening by the political power here, corrupted politicians connected in this huge environmental disaster in Sri Lanka. Thus, the elephant migration between protected areas needs to be facilitated through either maintenance or renewed establishment of human-habitation free corridors. Ensuring the future survival of elephants that range inside and outside protected areas is both central and crucial to the conservation of elephants in Sri Lanka. The urgent step that the government should take is to establish the proposed MER in Hambantota district, which will pave the way to reduce human elephant conflict in Southern province. The proposed conservation plan connects the Udawalawa , Lunugamvehera and Bundala wildlife reserves, after studying the animal’s migration patterns through longitudinal research and even satellite technology. But government not able to implement this elephant reserve yet and these lands distributed to unplanned projects and settlements.There is a unique opportunity to give back to wilderness. The following are a fewways in which the govt. can help the situation:Declaration, demarcation and legal protection of the natural habitats and elephant corridors under laws.Improvement of forest cover in elephant corridors.Prevention and eviction of legal and illegal encroachments.Purchase of land and voluntary relocation of settlements in the area.Habitat Enrichment with fodder trees and grasses.Enforcing laws and policies to protect tuskers and elephants in the wild.Reform the land policy for resettlement. Environmental groups are working in coalition to save the elephants in their habitats, to put pressure on government to implement a national policy framework for wild elephant conservation and need your support too. We are strongly urge you to kindly intervene into the matter and direct the Sri Lankan government to implement a urgent scientific conservation framework for these endangered elephants to conserve in their natural habitats. Elephants have long been part of our life, culture and mythology. Let’s sign this petition anddo our bit to save these magnificentgentle giants and conserve and preserve our natural wealth and heritage for the right future.All concerned people please sign and share this petition and your every single sign should help to save endangered gentle Giants of Sri Lanka. Lankan elephants in Starvation This bull elephant has 48 gunshots and was died after translocation to another area.ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුළ වසරකට අලිඇතුන් 300 පමණ විවිධ අයුරින් සාහසික ලෙස ඝාතනය වන අතර රජය විසින් ඉක්මනින් වන අලි සංරක්ෂණ ජාතික ක්‍රමවේදයකට පියවර නොගතහොත් 2048 වසර වෙද්දී මෙරට අලිඇතුන් සම්පූර්නයෙන්ද වද වී යනු ඇති බවට රජයේ විඝණකාධිපතිවරයි පවා අනතුරු අගවා තිබියදීත් වනඅලි සංරක්ෂණයට රජය විසින් පියවරක් මෙතුවක් ගෙන නොමැති අතර එය ඉතා කණගාටුදාකය. ලංකාවේ ඉතිරිව පවතින ඉතාමත් සුලු වනගත ප්‍රදේශ වපසරියක හා රක්ෂිතවල දැඩි ආහාර අහේනියකට ලක්ව වදවී යාමේ අවධානමට ලක් වී ඇති අලිඇතුන් රැක ගැනීම සදහා රජය විසින් අලි ඇතුන් නිජබිම් තුලම සංරක්ෂණය කිරීමට කඩිනමින් ජාතික අලි සංරක්ෂණ විද්‍යාත්මක ක්‍රමවේදයක් ක්‍රියාත්මක කළ යුතුව තිබුනද එය එසේ නොවී දේශපාලන පටු වාසි තකා තාවකාලික පැලැස්තර ගැසීමෙන් අලි මිනිස් ගැටුමද දිනෙන් දිනම උග්‍ර අතට හැරෙමින් පවතී. එහි ප්‍රථිපලය මෙම දැවැන්තයින් රටට දිනෙන් දිනම අහිමිවීම පමණි. අලි ඇල්ලීම්, අලි එලවීම්, අක්‍රමවත් විදිලි වැට මෙම ප්‍රශ්නයට ස්ථ්රසාර විසදුම් නොවේ. අලිඇතුන්ගේ චර්යාවන් හා සංක්‍රමණික රටා අධ්‍යනයෙන් අලි ඇතුන්ගේ නිජබිම් හා අලි මංකඩවල් හදුනා ඒවා ආරක්ෂා කරදී නිජබිම් සංරක්ෂණයක් ගෙන ඒමට රජය යොමු කිරීමේ බලාපොරොත්තුවෙන් අන්තර්ජාතිකව වැදගත් සංවිධානයන්ට මැදිහත් වන ලෙස ඉල්ලීමක් රැගත් මෙම පෙත්සමට ඔබේ සහයෝගය ලබාදෙන්න.ACT IN SRI LANKA91,421 supporters Petitioning International Union for the Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Program, Conservation International, Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), Mahaweli Authority (MA) – Sri Lanka, Central Envi…Protect The Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem Through Eco-Tourism & Global RecognitionThe Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem comprises one of only three extended villu ecosystems found in Sri Lanka, two of which have been declared as Ramsar Listed Wetland Clusters of International Importance (as opposed to Individual Sites), under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (which was signed on the 2nd of February 1971). The aforementioned Wetland Clusters are the Wilpattu Forest Complex (within which Wilpattu National Park is contained), and Kumana National Park (which forms one protected area within the Greater Yala Complex). However, most people (as of April the 28th 2018), still remain unaware that the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem is not only a villu ecosystem, but also partially under the legal protection of Sri Lanka’s relatively expansive protected area (hereafter referred to as PAs) network. The PA’s in this particular instance areFlood Plains National Park (which forms one sector of the Wasgamuwa Tri – Park Sector), andSomawathiya National Park (which forms one PA within Sri Lanka’s Eastern Terrestrial Protected Areas). Both national parks were declared under the Mahaweli Development Programme (now titled the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme), in 1984 (Flood Plains) and 1986 (Somawathiya) respectively. Currently both national parks are closed to the general public, with the only activities taking place in Somawathiya, revolving around the ancient Somawathiya Chaitya. As far as eco-tourism activities are concerned, the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s decision not to open either national park to the general public, has been based around the inaccessibility of Flood Plains, and the lack of a management plan, with regard to effectively protecting the former, as well as Somawathiya.As such, this lack of eco-tourism related activities/proper management plans has led certain rogue business and politically affiliated elements with society, to engage in activities which are in direct violation of both the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (hereafter referred to as the FFPO), and the Forest Conservation Ordinance (hereafter referred to as the FCO). Such activities include deforestation, cultivation of both edible and non-edible crops (i.e. bananas and tobacco), encroachment, illegal logging and grazing of domestic cattle with the boundaries of the park (illegal). The construction of the various water catchment projects (under the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme), has also badly affected the seasonal water flows, as well as the overall carrying capacity of the villus contained within the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem (protected and un-protected). This loss of seasonal water movements by the aforementioned water catchment projects, will have an additional, detrimental effect as the ecologically rich grazing lands (i.e. the seasonally flooded grasslands), will loose their overall richness, and turn into grazing grounds which are poor in nutrition and faunal diversity, ultimately affecting the herbivorous fauna of the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem. It is also worth keeping in mind, that the loss of water within the aforementioned villus, has already started to have a negative impact on the overall eco-system, with invasive floral species such as the Common Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes), the Giant Salvinia/Kariba Weed (Salvinia Molesta) and the Cocklebur/Burweed (Xanthium Indicum) already showing signs of significant expansion, putting such alien floral species in direct competition with far more delicate native floral species. Both the Handapan and Bendiya Villus (located with Flood Plains National Park) are already exhibiting the characteristics of unnaturally altered villu ecosystems, with the accelerated loss of important herbal species a crucial indicator of such unnatural alteration.Protecting the full extent of the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem (it’s two PAs included), is of significant importance and should be accomplished with a real sense of urgency. The ecological diversity within Flood Plains National Park alone is staggering, with over 14 species of mammalian fauna, an estimated 75 species of avian fauna, approximately 10 – 20 species of reptilian fauna and an unknown array of aquatic freshwater and brackish water species (a significant percentage of which could turn out to be endemic). As far as floral diversity is concerned, 231 floral species have been recorded within Flood Plains National Park, contained within a host of different examples of contiguous vegetation, including dry zone riverine forests, fresh/brackish water swamp forests and marshlands, riverine gallery forests and seasonally flooded grasslands. In the case of Somawathiya National Park, the ecological diversity is of a similar importance and variety, with both national parks playing host to an avifaunal diversity that rivals national parks such as Bundala (which forms one PA within the Southern Avian and Elephant Conservation Region), Kumana and Wilpattu, with estimated mixed avian populations (endemic, resident, vagrant and migratory), numbering between 4000 – 8000 individuals (dependent on the season/time of the year). Additionally, both national parks are important feeding grounds/migratory channels for large numbers of Sri Lankan Elephants, of which an estimated 200 are recorded to inhabit/traverse Flood Plains, while approximately 300 – 400 have been counted living within/migrating through Somawathiya. Such is the overall importance of both PAs, as well as the river that they collectively protect, the Mahaweli River (alternatively titled the “Great Sandy River”), which itself (due to the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme), irrigates 386 square miles/999.74 square kilometres of agricultural land, and provides approximately 40 – 50% of the island’s total electrical energy production cementing the urgent need for complete protection and sustainable management.As such, the motivation behind/purpose of this petition is to push for the opening of both Flood Plains and Somawathiya National Park to the general public, with a heavy emphasis placed on eco-tourism activities such as safaris, sustainability and community-driven conservation. This would serve to discourage the range of illegal activities (mentioned in detail above), from taking place within either PA, while simultaneously bolstering the economic prospects and livelihoods of the various communities that live in the vicinity of both Flood Plains and Somawathiya. This petition also calls for the expansion of the PA Network within the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem, which is only (through the two national parks mentioned), 549.984 square kilometres as of April the 28th 2018. Considering the total square kilometerage of the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem is approximately four to five times the size of it’s PA Network, it is imperative that the sizes of both Flood Plains and Somawathiya are significantly increased. Anyone who has been to either Wilpattu National Park or Kumana National Park will be aware of the sheer beauty, as well as the ecological diversity contained within both national park’s numerous Villus or “Natural Lakes”. These sand-rimmed water basins or “depressions” are of incalculable value, particularly with regard to conserving avian fauna (endemic, resident, vagrant and migratory). Consequently, this petition calls for the listing and declaration of the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem, as the island’s third Ramsar Listed Wetland Cluster of International Importance, as opposed to Single or Individual Site (under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance). For reference, 38 Villus have been recorded within Flood Plains, while 20 Villus have been documented within Somawathiya (a total of 58 Villus), and that isn’t taking into account the countless other Villus which are located outside these two national parks, but within the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystem. Finally this petition calls for accountability, on the part of the DWC (with regard to securing and protecting both Flood Plains and Somawathiya National Parks), as well as the added cooperation of the Department of Forest Conservation (DFC), the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL) and the Department of Irrigation (DOI), with regard to creating a competent management plan (under which the restoration of seasonal water movements is included), so that the Villus within and outside the Greater Mahaweli Flood Plain Ecosystems PAs can effectively recover and rejuvenate at an ecological level. Dialogue and mutual collaboration between the both the Ministry of Sustainable Development & Wildlife, and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment would help expedite the resolution of such issues, without incurring both bureaucratic stalemates and barriers (commonplace within Sri Lanka’s administrative framework). John Wilson69,041 supporters Petitioning World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Conservation International, United Nations Environment Program, United Nations, Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Sri Lanka,…SPEAK FOR THE UNSPOKENThe Sri Lankan leopard is a leopard subspecies native to Sri Lanka. Sadly on Thursday (June 21st), one leopard met a tragic end when it ventured into the Ambalpuram area in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka.(Many a times this happened. But Sri Lankan Government still did not take an action. The wait is over. It’s time for us to unite as a nation and RAISE OUR VOICE AND SPEAK FOR THE UNSPOKEN.)With its habitat being destroyed and disturbed by humans on a daily basis, animals are now heading to cities. Animals that lose their native habitats are forced into new areas in search of shelter and food. Enraged and hungry.Animals who move sometimes come into contact with humans while searching for an area with a better food supply. Sometimes these animals are simply a nuisance, but other times they can attack humans. Sometimes humans relocate the displaced species to an area where they will not interfere with human habitation, but other times humans respond by attacking or killing the threatening or annoying animal. these animals attack human beings and such attacks could be fatal.Humans being the funny animals, pollute the environment with various inventions ranging from automobiles to refrigerators, contaminated fresh water bodies with chemicals, burnt down forests for cultivation and forced the animals to leave their natural habitat. Animals soon started proceeding to cities, and many a times, attacked human beings out of fear, or hunger. BUT CLEARLY THAT’S NOT ANIMALS’ FAULT.Being the most intelligent species on the planet, humans have come a long way. From inventions starting from fire and wheel, now we build sky scrappers and send people to Mars. But not much changed for animals other than the fact their environment has been deteriorating due to various factors, human encroachment and interference being one of the prime reasons for these type of things.WHO’S TO BLAME?It’s only humans:• Animal & human population is rising, shrinking habitats• Implementation of environmental laws is also about politics• Roads & power lines block regular routes of wild animals• Food sources are being affected by human intrusionPLEASE TAKE AN ACTION. OUR WILD ANIMALS SHOULD NOT BE KILLED LIKE THIS. THEY WERE GIFTED TO MAKE OUR NATURE EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL. PEOPLE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT WE USE THE ADJECTIVE “WILD” BEFORE THESE ANIMALS, JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN BE DEADLY. WE CAN’T EXPECT SOMETHING SWEET FROM THEM WHEN THEY ARE DISPLACED AND WHEN IN HUNGER.DEFORESTATION IS ONE OF THE KEY RESONS FOR THESE TYPE OF THINGS HAPPEN. PLEASE STOP DEFORESTATION, PLEASE LET OUR VALUABLE SPECIES LIVE IN PEACE. SOMETHING CALLED “HUMANITY” STILL EXISTS.”SPEAK FOR THE UNSPOKEN”Shani Gunawardana64,180 supporters Petitioning International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, European Commission, United Nations Environment Program, United Nations Development Program, Gov…Completely Re – Work the Overall Management Plan for the Sinharaja National Forest ReserveAs the island’s largest remaining tract of untouched lowland tropical rainforest, the Sinharaja National Forest Reserve’s current overall management plan is in dire need of re – working. Although it was first declared as a National Forest Reserve (referred to in this petition as the Sinharaja NFR) on the 3rd of May 1875 (under the Waste Lands Ordinance), it has since had a second national designation (the highest one available on the island), as well as three international designations attached, and they are as follows (in order of importance):1. Individual Natural UNESCO World Heritage Site (1989)2. International UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve (April 1978)3. National Heritage Wilderness Area (National Designation) (October 21st 1988)4. Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (BirdLife International) (2004)As a result of its two UNESCO designations, the Sinharaja NFR is legally required to be divided into three different zones, and they are as follows (interior to exterior):1. The Core Zone (strict eco – system and landscape protection/conservation)2. The Buffer Zone (scientific research and compatible ecological practices)3. The Transitional or Peripheral Zone (sustainable economic development)If the Sinharaja NFR’s overall management plan is to be effectively re – worked then recognition, demarcation and enforcement of the Buffer and Transitional/Peripheral Zones is critical to achieving such a target. To achieve this both the aforementioned zones need to have their overall width increased to 2 miles each (a total of 4 miles). The Buffer Zone should be restricted to eco – system related scientific research and should remain an untouched wilderness, that serves the purpose of safeguarding the Reserve’s Core Zone. The Transitional or Peripheral Zone should be divided into two 1 mile width segments, with the inner segment being managed through the planting of tall grass barriers, while the outer segment should be utilised for the purposes of conducting sustainable agriculture/agro – forestry (the latter preferably with floral varieties that are unfavourable to the dietary requirements of the Lowland Tropical Rainforest Elephants living within the Reserve. Finally, all of the villages located within the two aforementioned zones, need to be removed and relocated to suitable locations outside the Reserve’s three zones. This would help relieve a large amount of the pressure that is currently placed upon the Reserve on a daily basis, and help reduce instances of the Human – Wildlife Conflict in the Reserve’s vicinity (which would be mutually beneficial to all the parties involved). Keep in mind that an estimated 8000 – 10000 people live in 20 villages that almost completely surround the Reserve, so assistance for the removals and relocations mentioned above, should be be sought from the relevant Divisional Secretariats, the Land Reform Commission, the Central Environmental Authority and the appropriate Ministries. Additionally, the Reserve is (for management purposes), divided into two sectors and four sub – sectors by the Department of Forest Conservation (hereafter referred to as the DFC), due to the different types of eco – regions that the Reserve covers:1. The Western Sector (Lowland Tropical Rainforest)Further divided into North Western & South Western Sub – Sectors2. The Eastern Sector (Sub – Montane or Lower Montane Forest)Further divided into North Eastern & South Eastern Sub – SectorsThe Eastern Sector of the Sinharaja NFR (both sub – sectors included) (hereafter referred to as Eastern Sinharaja) is of particular importance to the scientific community, due to its location in the nearly completely devastated Sub – Montane Wet Zone. The forests found in this eco – region are unique, and different ecologically to the island’s Lowland Tropical Rainforests and Cloud Montane Forests. This forest type is also (as of the 28th of June 2018), the most critically threatened forest type on the island, occupying only 0.05% of the island, even though only an estimated 45% of the flora and fauna contained within such forests is known to science. Furthermore, Eastern Sinharaja’s terrain is extremely hilly and nearly impassible, thereby making this sector inaccessible to the vast majority of the island’s human population. This has resulted in Eastern Sinharaja’s retention of forests and eco – systems that are millions of years old and virtually untouched, creating a “Lost World” that continues to inspire, amaze and interest the general public, despite the technological advancements of the 21st century.It also needs to be noted, that the Sinharaja NFR is part of its own Collective Protected Area (hereafter referred to as a CPA), the South Western Biodiversity Super Cluster, and is the largest Protected Area (hereafter referred to as a PA) in the heavily fragmented Sinharaja Rainforest Complex which includes a number of PAs:1. The Dellawa P.R. (Other State Forest)2. The Morapitiyarunakanda P.R. (Other State Forest)3. The Waratalgoda P.R. (Other State Forest)4. The Neluketiyamukalana P.R. (Other State Forest)5. The Kudumiriya P.R. (Other State Forest)6.The Delgoda Conservation ForestAny re – worked management plan, needs to include the six PAs mentioned above and ensure the integration of such PAs into the Sinharaja NFR, an action that will increase the current size of the Reserve (298 square kilometres), to a size that is more conducive to its long term future. Furthermore, there is an estimated 2500 acres of unprotected, primary Lowland Tropical Rainforest under the control of the Land Reform Commission (hereafter referred to as the LRC), which needs to be integrated into the Sinharaja NFR (as a result ofCabinet Paper No. PS/CS/26/2004, dated as on the 22nd of July 2004), an action that after 18 years, has yet to actually be implemented. This would expand the overall size of the Reserve to 323 square kilometres, especially important for the last remaining Lowland Tropical Rainforest Elephants (one of the island’s three regional Elephant variants), as it would ensure the expansion of their continuously dwindling range, thus contributing towards their future existence. As of the 28th of June 2018, there are only two such Elephants in the Sinharaja NFR, both of which are males (and are thought to be siblings). Since there are no female Elephants of this regional variant present, these two males have turned their sexual frustrations into anger, and directed it towards certain villages on the Reserve’s Boundary (i.e. where the Core and Buffer Zones converge). It is very important to remember, that this anger is entirely justified as the inhabitants of certain villages engage in illegal activities such as deforestation, poaching, illicit alcohol production, land grabbing, unauthorised construction etc, etc, and have tried to badly maim/murder the two aforementioned Elephants, in order to freely carry out such illegal activities. Additionally, plantation companies involved in tea and rubber production, have illegally encroached upon several historical Elephant corridors, blocking the Elephants traditional (localised) migratory routes. Under this much pressure, retaliation by these two Elephants is expected, but such issues are solvable. The introduction of 2 – 4 domesticated female Lowland Tropical Rainforest Elephants (following a period of rehabilitation and close monitoring), would satisfy the needs of the two Bulls, and lay the groundwork for the recovery of this regional variant’s overall population (important given the fact that historically, the highest density of Elephants on the island, was found within the Wet – Zone’s Lowland Tropical Rainforests, Sub – Montane or Lower Montane Forests and Cloud Montane Forests). Currently the two Sinharaja Bull Elephants traverse the length and breadth of the Reserve’s Eastern Sector, alongside (potentially) the highest density of Black Leopards on the island. This is a result of a recessive allele, which in Leopards tends to emerge in the tallest, thickest, greenest forest types, which usually are low in light penetration (in this case the three forest types mentioned above have the highest chance of ensuring the birth of a Black Leopard). Based on the number of Black Leopards that have been killed on the Reserve’s Boundary, estimates have suggested that there are anywhere between 10 – 20 Black Leopards living in the Sinharaja NFR (with the majority of them inhabiting the Reserve’s Eastern Sector).The issues surrounding the last two Lowland Tropical Rainforest Elephants evolved into a serious political struggle between the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development (hereafter referred to as the MSDWRD) and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (hereafter referred to as the MMDE), following the decisions made by both the Minister (Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka) and the Deputy Minister (PalithaThewarapperuma) of the MSDWRD (due to the demands of two particular villages located on the Reserve’s Boundary), to remove and relocate the two Elephants in question, inevitably signing their death warrants, given their specialist behaviours and dietary requirements as a regional variant. However, thanks to the intervention of the Minister (President Maithripala Sirisena) of the MMDE, this action was halted indefinitely, before it was carried out. This state of affairs has also undermined the authority and mandate of the DFC, as the Department of Wildlife Conservation (hereafter referred to as the DWC), was selected to carry out the removal and relocation operation. Adding to the already hostile rivalry between the DFC and the DFC (with the same applying to their parent ministries), the selection of the DWC resulted in public erosion of the DFC’s control and authority over the Sinharaja NFR. Ergo, if the DFC is to effectively manage and safeguard the Reserve, then the DWC should never be allowed to undermine the DFC’s mandate in any manner, ever again. Instead, the DWC should follow the lead of the DFC, with regards to the administration of the Reserve’s wildlife, and work in conjunction with the former, to achieve the goals relating to wildlife conservation in and around Sinharaja (i.e. through cooperation, knowledge sharing and diffusion).For those who aren’t aware, the Sinharaja NFR is among the top five most valuable PAs on the island, with a floral endemism percentage that is over 60% and a faunal endemism percentage that is over 50% (extremely impressive, given the Reserve’s currently dwindling size). As far as large or “charismatic” mammalian fauna are concerned, the overall populations aren’t as secure or numerous as those in the island’s Dry – Zone, though the sheer variety and number of endemic avian fauna is more than enough to make up for this large mammalian fauna deficit. Species such as the Sri Lankan Wood Pigeon, the Red – Faced Malkoha, the Green – Billed Coucal, the Sri Lankan Blue Magpie and the Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, are among the numerous avian endemics that inhabit the Reserve. Examples of endemic mammalian fauna include the Southern Lowland Wet – Zone Purple – Faced Langur (alternatively known as the Purple – Faced Leaf Monkey) and the Sri Lankan Leopard. Other genera that display high degrees of endemism include Reptiles and Amphibians (the latter of which has nine species identified as endemic). It should be noted that as far as flora is concerned, the average height of the Reserve’s canopy is between 35 – 40 metres on average, with certain heights (impressively) exceeding 50 metres. Additionally the Reserve is an ecological laboratory for butterflies (which form an order classified as Lepidoptera), with over 50% of the aforementioned order identified as endemics to the island’s Lowland Wet – Zone.All of the steps mentioned above are absolutely necessary to ensure the Reserve’s future, indirectly and directly benefiting the numerous communities that depend on the Reserve’s existence, for their financial needs, thereby enhancing the standards of living and education in the process. As such, the support of the general public is needed, in order to bring about the changes (as well as the associated, positive dividends) mentioned above, safeguarding the Sinharaja National Forest Reserve.John Wilson63,001 supporters Petitioning Theresa May MPLeave your plastic in the supermarkets you shop inThe Facts:The proliferation of plastic products in the last 70 years or so has been extraordinary. We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.Plastic is cheap and incredibly versatile with properties that make it ideal for many applications. However, these qualities have also resulted in it becoming an environmental issue so TOGETHER let’s make a change – instead of carrying your shopping out of the supermarkets in plastic lets try to get back to putting your veg, fish and meat in brown paper bags. However if you find that a challenge keep it simple to start, when you leave the supermarket leave your plastic with them for example : fourbaked bean cans have a plastic wrapper holding them together take it of and give it back to the supermarket. Anything your comfortable with removing just do it!! You will help the planet!We need to save this planet before it’s to late. The ocean, the future generations and the wild life of the world.Lastly all I say sign the petition and get the ball rolling and hopefully the government will listen. Plastic is not key to our life’s so please for the future of this planet & environment please come together and support this.Thank you & get signingEmma Bysouth16,537 supporters Petitioning World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Protection Agency, United Nations Environment Program, United Nations, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Mother Nature, Conservation Internation…We need to act now to save our environment!Massive Crack on an Iceberg in Antartica!On February 26, 2021, a massive crack above an iceberg stunned the scientists upon scouting the antartic region. The crack was estimated to be spanning over 1,270 km or over 20 times the size of Manhanttan in the United States.However, scientists says that there is not yet a direct evidence of climate change as the cause of this phenomenon. Yet, we still need to take care of our environment and lessen the pollution. Needless to say, climate change and global warming is very alarming and a real occurrence in today’s world.Despite our limited authority and power to impose large projects to diminish pollution, our little contributions as a ordinary citizens can have a big impact on our environment.Some of the ways we can lessen the pollution are as follows:1. Throw garbage in trash cans/bins.2. Avoid using high electric consuming appliances.3. Avoid burning trash, leaves, or other materials.4. Only travel when necessary.5. Conserve water.6. Use eco bags when going to grocery.7. Avoid using plastic bags.8. Practice 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.9. Use recyclable materials.10. Use eco friendly appliances.Read more about this topic by clicking in this articleJan Benedict16,097 supporters Petitioning Government of Uganda, Uganda Parliament, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Conservation InternationalSave Bugoma Forest – UGANDABugoma Central Forest Reserve, with 411 sq km or 41.144 hectares of protected area, is the largest remaining block of natural tropical forest along the Albertine Rift Valley between Budongo and Semliki, therefore playing an enormous role in preserving wildlife migratory corridors.Bugoma is home to about 500 chimpanzees (10% of the Ugandan chimp population), making the forest a chimpanzee sanctuary. Among other primates, Bugoma hosts a population of Ugandan mangabeys, endemic to only this forest therefore unique treasure. The bird list is of 221 species recorded.With an ever-growing deforestation rate in Uganda that caused the loss of 63% of forested cover in only 3 decades, therefore contributing to less carbon absorption and contributing to climate change, the life of people is actually been more and more endangered with the degradation of habitats, reduction of water sources, reduction of fertility. It is paramount for the health of all the population to maintain the existing forest cover.In the last few years, Bugoma Forest survival has faced various threats, the largest of which is the development of sugar cane plantations with the opening of Hoima Sugar Works in 2016, located next to the natural forest, a crop project which does not match at all with the nature of the forest habitat.What is at stake?1. The conservation of Bugoma Forest in all its integrity is paramount for the livelihood of the local farmers communities, who are generally in support of the conservation. Destruction and change in the use of the habitat will affect the climate, the water sources, the whole economy of the area, while in particular sugar cane will worsen the remaining existence of natural habitat and its wildlife with more conflicts between humans and wildlife, as well as impoverishing the soil and impoverishing the local communities.2. The current development and investments in eco-tourism activities and tourist accommodation (Bugoma Jungle Lodge, new lodge in Mwera) in Bugoma Forest will be compromised by the destruction of the habitat and the poor image of Bugoma forest resulting from lack of rule of law. Investors in eco-tourism and conservation have much to complain about.3. The chimpanzee and Ugandan mangabeys population of Bugoma Forest will be negatively affected, contributing to a poor image of Uganda in the world, as these species are internationally recognized as well as the importance of Bugoma Forest.4. The conservation efforts by many organizations in and around Bugoma Forest, having various projects in the tree – planting, farmers support, socioeconomic supports to vulnerable communities including refugees in the area will be frustrated by a clear setback.5. The presence of a very dangerous sugarcane lobby, which attracted the favours of many local leaders and institutions (but certainly not the support of local people) and feels no problems in attacking a natural habitat of international biodiversity importance, will always be a threat to other positive investments in the area, investments that could create more job opportunities in a very poor socioeconomic region.6. The degradation in the area with the prospected loss of part of the forest will trigger a further escalation in degradation, further loss of habitat and endangering the biodiversity, moreover increasing the cases of all the illegalities that affected Bugoma Forest. This factor is crucial.7. The game played by various actors saying that Bugoma Forest has no clear boundaries, with the intention to grab both the protected forest and any other private forest does not help the solution of the problem.8. In the end Uganda will lose credibility in the respect and implementation of International Conventions including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which Uganda ratified in 1993 with the objective to regulate levels of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere; not forgetting theUnited Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).Recommendations1. Bugoma Forest must be protected as it is, no matter where the exact of prospected boundaries are. An appeal must be made against the ruling of Masindi High Court of 25th April 2019 with immediate effect.2. Bugoma forest and local communities need development, which can be there when there is certainty of land use and ownership by the government of Uganda. We need to get our leaders to think sustainably (Long term).3. The local communities and their leaders should be part of the process of development and not victims of the intimidations by the sugarcane lobby and their connections.4. Sugarcane development should not take place at the expense of natural resources. There is enough land in Bunyoro to accommodate sugar cane, without destroying vital natural resources. Hoima Sugar Works should desist from threatening Bugoma Forest eco-system and should desist from using local institutions and leaders to push forward its interests.5. The Government of Uganda should immediately intervene to reassure the protection of Bugoma forest, to reassure the investment in eco-tourism and in accommodation in the area.6. Uganda should respect the international conventions and protocols on environmental conservation to which the country is a signatory.With the only objective to work on implementing these recommendation, to sensitize the public and the media, to inform the international and national communities about the dramatic danger behind the threats to Bugoma Forest, a coalition campaign is formed and launch under the name “Save Bugoma Forest Campaign”, which is the united efforts of all the organizations and associations of the conservation sector as well as the private and tourism sector and the general public.Join this wave, sign the petition, be counted! #SaveBugomaForestSave Bugoma Forest11,153 supporters Petitioning Donald J. Trump, U.S. House of Representatives, United Nations, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), International Animal Rescue, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, …Free Captured Whales Suffering in Russia101 Captured Orcas and Belugas are Suffering in Russia”More than ninety beluga whales are held in small enclosures in a bay near the city of Nakhodka in Russia. Out of sight, eleven orcas are also housed in small enclosures. Ongoing research must show whether the animals have been legally captured. The images were made this week by cameraman, Denis Unak, and journalist Masha Netrebenko. Watch video (available in link).Local media speak of a whale prison, because of the poor living conditions in the too small enclosures. Activists are also acting out against the traders. Ocean theme parks in China are booming. The animals are said to be intended for Chinese aquariums, while they may only be caught for scientific purposes. Some animals have been in this enclosure since July of this year. The animals swim in endless patterns, waiting for their fate. “Please help me raise awareness of this horrific behavior by the Chinese and Russian governments. Every time I read about something appalling done by China towards the environmentand animals, they seem to do something worse. Whales are highly intelligent and highly sentient; no matter what side of the animal rights fight you fall under, this is morally reprehensible.We can raise international awareness to pressure China to stop treating animals like non-living, disposable waste. These whales are suffering, being tortured, and they are aware of the grim fates.Please help me by sharing and contacting international animal rights organizations, as well as your local media. STOP CHINA / SAVE OUR WATERS.Nola Ivi9,609 supporters

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