Sixth National Report
Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level
By 2022, a system is established and ongoing for inventorising species (taxonomy and conservation status), ecosystems (structure, function, composition and distribution), their services and values, to inform conservation planning and decision making ()
Sri Lanka is a small island with high diversity and high endemism and is listed as one of 35 global hotspots in the world. Yet this categorization has been based on limited data, and any gaps in information and data exist. Thus there exists a large need to continued taxonomic research and studies to ensure that species are inventorised.
- Biodiversity Expert Group has been established by Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment
- National Red List 2012 is in the process of being updated
- Handbook on Research and Monitoring developed, Sri Lanka Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism has been created
- Seven seed grants have been provided (BDS) for contract research to fill in knowledge gaps
- Conducting awareness and extension programs by DWC, FD, DNM, DNBG, DNZG
- Communications strategies have been developed for specific projects
By 2022, habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are significantly reduced ()
Sri Lanka underwent large scale deforestation during the hydraulic civilization from 200 BC till 1200 AD for agriculture, during colonial rule for plantations, and post-independence for development purposes and especially through the Mahaweli Development Programme. Currently, post-war, Sri Lanka is again entering a rapid development phase, especially placing increased pressure on the North and East forests. As a consequence there is increased habitat fragmentation, pollution and spread of invasive alien species.
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Kelani, Attanagalu oya, Mahaweli and Mundeniaru basins are conducted by Department of Irrigation (DoI). The draft report for Mudeniaru is completed and work in progress for Kelani, Attanagalu and Mahaweli basins.
- Integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka has been conducted by the UNDP and IUCN
- Sri Lanka Coastal Zone and Coastal Resource Management Plan 2018 has been developed by Coast Conservation & Coastal Resource Management Department (CC&CRMD) (hard copy available)
- Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP) through International Development Association (IDA) credit is ongoing
- MEPA together with the IUCN is developing the Policy Strategies and National Action plan for Marine Environment Protection in Sri Lanka (
- Ministry of Agriculture is conducting several projects, programmes and a loan scheme named "The Sara Lanka Loan Scheme" to reduce reliance on agro-chemical usage
- Effluent discharge standards and ambient water quality standards have been revised have been revised by the Central Environment Authority (CEA)
- Sri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020 has been developed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority
- National Policy on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and the Strategies & Action Plan for its Implementation in Sri Lanka
- IAS website is established
- No species specific plans but research based on introducing fish meal preparing techniques using invasive and alien Knife Fish has been conducted by National Aquatic Research and Development Agency (NARA - Annual Report 2016) and National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) is conducting trials to use Tank Cleaner fish for fishmeal preparation
- Special management plans have been developed for Pigeon Island, Vakarai lagoon, Panama- Pottuvil sand dunes, Rekwana, Hikadauwa, Negombo, Maduganga, Kalpitiya, Manella, etc., by CC&CRMD (hard copies available)
- National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change in Sri Lanka 2016-2025 has been developed by the MoMD&E.
- Colombo Wetland Management Strategy has been developed by the SLLRDC
- Colombo wetlands have been recently declared as a Ramsar site (DWC)
By 2022, the Protected Area (PA) network is made representative of all critical ecosystems and species and managed effectively ()
Although Sri Lanka has already surpassed the Aichi target 11 of having 17% of its land under protection, it falls short of the 10% target for marine protected areas having 0.3%. Therefore, assessment of adequacy and representation is essential. Further it is necessary to assess wherever PA are properly designated connectivity ensured and effective managed.
- Action Plan for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Palaeobiodiversity in Sri Lanka in 2014 exists and have identified palaeobiodiversity sites in Sri Lanka
- Bio-cultural community for Kitul has been identified by BDS
- Nayaru Nature Reserve gazetted in 2017, Nandikadal Nature Reserve gazetted in 2017 (Gazette Extraordinary no.2003/10) by the DWC.
- Status assessment has been conducted by NARA where Little and Great Basses have been identified as sensitive sites and DWC have received cabinet approval to be declared as a Marin sanctuary. Cabinet approval has already been received to expand Kahala Pallekele Sanctuary, and declare a new National Park (Kalawewa National Park), to upgrade Kahala Pallekele Sanctuary to a National Park, to declare Kayankerni Marine Zone as Kayankerni Marine Natural Reservation, to declare 25 ha around Kotuaththalawa Tank in Kurunegala District as Kotuaththalawa Sancturay, to declare 134 ha in Akurela Forest in Galle District as a Wildlife Sanctuary, to declare 12 ha of Kodigahakanda forest area in Kalutara District as a Wildlife Sanctuary and to declare new boundaries for the Maadu River Sanctuary in Galle District
- A marine unit has been established at the DWC
- Protected area network mapped out
- Kala Wewa Kahalla-Pallekele Protected Area Complex Management Plan 2017-2022 and Wilpattu Strategic Management Framework have been developed by DWC
- Central Environment Authority declared Warathenna-Hakkinda area in Kandy district as an Environmental Protection Area (EPA) as it contains a highly sensitive riparian ecosystem that provide habitats for a number of threatened flora and fauna
By 2022, a system is established and ongoing for inventorising species (taxonomy conservation status), ecosystems (structure, function, composition and distribution), their services and values, to inform conservation planning and decision making. ()
Handbook on Research and Monitoring developed, Sri Lanka Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism has been created
No National Botanical and Zoological Survey Programme but conduct annual surveys of flora
Seed grants are annually provided by BDS
A training program on intermediate zone butterflies was conducted in 2018
National Science Foundation (NSF) and universities provide limited travel grants to experts
No specific communication strategy but communications strategies have been developed for specific projects (e.g. environmental sensitive zones 2016, ESA project 2017) by MoMD&E
By 2022, habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are significantly reduced ()
Sri Lanka Coastal Zone and Coastal Resource Management Plan 2018 has been developed by CC&CRMD . Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP) through International Development Association (IDA) credit is ongoing. MEPA together with the IUCN is developing the Policy Strategies and National Action plan for Marine Environment Protection in Sri Lanka.
No national plan
Food Production National Programme 2016-2018 is developed to ensure high quality food production by adopting environmental-friendly methods and minimizing the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides
No national strategy but effluent discharge standards and ambient water quality standards are being revised by the CEA
Sri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020 has been developed by the SLTDA. Nature based tourism plans have been developed for Bundala, Udawalawe National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and Knuckles Conservation Forests through the ESCAMP project. Further, regulations on marine mammal watching exist but the enforcement is poor. Manewa Kanda Forest Reserve Sustainable Tourism Plan was developed in July 2017. Additionally, BDSL (Private Sector) has conducted a policy gap analysis in relation to tourism and biodiversity and has identified emerging, lesser known biodiversity rich destinations to reduce the tourism pressure on protected areas
BDS has conducted more than 80 campaigns to a range of audiences at the regional level
National Policy on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and the Strategies & Action Plan for it's Implementation in Sri Lanka
IAS website is established
Several species specific management plans are developed by the NPQS
Special management plans have been developed for Pigeon Island, Vakarai lagoon, Panama- Pothuvil sand dunes, Rekwana, Hikkadauwa, Negombo, Maduganga, Kalpitiya, Manella, etc., by CC&CRMD (hard copies of some)
A few studies on the impacts of climate change on floral species, especially in relation to range expansion, have been conducted by academics
National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change in Sri Lanka 2016-2025 has been developed by the MoMD&E. Local level plans have been developed for the Southern Province one was recently developed.
Colombo Wetland Management Strategy has been developed by the SLLRDC. Colombo wetlands have been recently declared as a Ramsar site (DWC)
By 2022, the PA network is made representative of all critical ecosystems and species and managed effectively. ()
Status assessment has been conduced by NARA where several sites and CR species have been identified. Chundikulam sanctuary has been upgraded to National Park (NP) status( Gazette Extraordinary No. 1920/3), Madhu road Sanctuary upgraded to NP status, Peak Wilderness Sanctuary upgraded to Nature Reserve (NR) status by the DWC. Cabinet approval has also been received to expand Kahala Pallekele Sanctuary, and declare a new National Park (Kalawewa National Park), to upgrade Kahala Pallekele Sanctuary to a National Park. CEA declared Warathenna-Hakkinda area in Kandy district and Pansalatenna-Maussawa area in Matale District as Environmental Protected Areas (EPAs) due to high ecological value
No national assessment but selected sites such as Little Basses and Kayanakerni reef sites have been identified as sensitive areas and have been granted cabinet approval to be declared as protected areas by DWC
A marine unit has been established at the DWC
Kala Wewa Kahalla-Pallekele Protected Area Complex Management Plan 2017-2022 and Wilpattu Strategic Management Framework have been developed by DWC
Areas of high palaeobiodiversity are identified by the BDS. Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BDSL) (Private Sector) BSL partnered with Dilmah Conservation and the Lanka Institute of Cave Science (LICAS) in August 2017, to address lack of information on caves by conducting rapid biodiversity surveys of 20 caves in Sri Lanka
Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and National Crafts Council (NCC) conduct a range of projects, including bee-keeping programs and promotion of sustainable cotton industries .Bio-cultural community for Kitul – BDS (not published)
By 2022, the loss of species is significantly reduced ()
Not an interactive web portal but the CHM website includes threatened species for major taxonomic groups.
Small research grants are provided if consolidated funds are available annually
In consultation with the DNBG, BDS has identified 2 species for prioritisation and are developing recovery plans
Galleries and research facilities in Natural History Museum (DNM) are upgraded to improve ex-situ conservation. Number of threatened sp. are already successfully bred. New three breeding centers have been proposed for construction and construction of one breeding centre has started (DNZG) ( By 2019 there will be conservation centers in Gonapola and Rideeyagama Safari Park and breeding centers will be established and expected to expand to Pinnawala by 2020.).
Regulations have been drafted by the DWC for regularizing activities of private sea turtle conservation and study centres (in Sinhala only)
Marine Conservation Centre in Dodanduwa has been established in 2017 by DWC. Sub-project proposal by DWC for establishing a ‘Elephant Holding Ground’ at Lunugamwehera National Park (NP) was approved. Special Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) patrolling training have been provided to DWC staff and patrolling has been initiated in the Southern and Uva wildlife regions
Diyasaru Wetland Park Which is located in Thalawathugoda maintained by SLLRDC and provide habitats for many endangered and endemic fauna. Some endemic and wetland plant species being planted in the premises as a part of conservation activities being conducted within the park. Ridiyagama Safari park was established introducing local and exotic animals following 2016.
Biodiversity Protection Unit of Sri Lanka Custom (SLC) carry out active screening to identify illegally traded flora and fauna and takes appropriate action in any violation is detected. DoF is tracking multi day boat by using vessel monitoring system, E-log book system and Port State Measures (PSM).
By 2022, the valuation of biodiversity is mainstreamed. ()
MoMD&E has carried out awareness programs for the government teachers on environment education introduced under the new syllabus (2017-2021). Updates on teacher guidelines have been carried out by the National Institute of Education (NIE) (e.g. 13 years of Guaranteed Education in Environmental Related Studies).
Meditation Centres named, "Aranyasenasana" indirectly support protection of ecosystem and wildlife. Guidelines have been developed for "Aranyasenasa" by FD
A policy brief on Green Accounting has been developed by the MoMD&E.
No guidelines but biodiversity conservation has been incorporated into national and local level landuse planning by the Land Use Policy Planning Department, where ecological sensitive areas have been identified and prioritised for rehabilitation (e.g. Punarudaya” National Environmental Conservation Programme, Preparation land use plan for Kala Oya river basin by mainstreaming biodiversity
By 2022, mechanisms are established to ensure sustainable use of biodiversity ()
Several management methods implemented by National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) for freshwater stock management in water bodies (e.g. Jayanthi Wewa and Senanayake Samudraya) with an economic model to produce more income for the fishermen
Inland fishing guidelines have been prepared and a programme has been conducted in Kalpitiya to promote best practices to minimize the destructive harvesting methods by DWC. National Plan of Action has been developed by DFAR
Food fish production assessments have been conducted by National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA). Off season has been declared for Herring by NARA. Stock assessment plan is been carried out in 2018 in marine fisheries by MFARD ,
By 2022, traditional sustainable uses of biodiversity are promoted and established ()
A draft of National Policy and strategies on Traditional Knowledge and Practices and BACC project aims to integrate tradition knowledge on climate change adaptation.
Biodiversity related Traditional knowledge Volume 1, 2, 3 are present (hard copies)
• National Agriculture Policy, Policy statement 3.1
With the aim of conserving and promoting sustainable consumption of herbal plants, DoAyur conduct a number of programs to develop model nurseries, herbal gardens and a number of organic garden cultivation projects
Human resource development for fisheries management – DFAR Action Plan 2016
By 2022, sustainable agriculture practices are promoted and established ()
DoA has conducted programs and projects such as awareness on traditional rice varieties (BFN, BACC, National Food Production (awareness on traditional rice), underutilized fruit crop. Underutilized species gardens have been established at schools and at universities under the BFN project.
“Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition” (BFN) website has been established under the BFN project implemented by the Ministry of Environment and executed by the Department of Agriculture
BDS has initiated Biodiversity for Adaptation to Climate Change (BACC) project with the support of UN Environment and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in collaboration with Diversity International to ensure that agro biodiversity is conserved and used to meet the challenges of climate change and improve rural livelihoods. A publication on “Traditional Knowledge use in Sri Lankan Agro ecosystems for Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change” has been developed under the BACC project as a guide to mainstream biodiversity conservation in agricultural systems. traditional Knowledge is gathered and distributed through media, websites and publications under the BFN project. Additionally, MoMD&E has initiated work on rehabilitating ancient tank cascade systems in many parts of the country.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certificating system for farmers has been initiated by the Department of Agriculture. Soil Conservation Action Plan is being developed by the BDS. Beehive boxes project in Sigiriya has been started by Jetwing.
By 2022, genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, cultivated species and livestock is conserved ()
Promotion of root and tuber crops through home garden programs
PGRC is conducting the following (a) Development of a mini-coret collection of traditional varieties (Sudu Heenati, Kaluheenati, Suwandal, pachchaperumal, kuruluthuda, suduru samba, pokkkali) (b) Characterization of rice germplasm for drought tolerant (c) Molecular Characterization of Annona germplasm (d) Tagging of Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus (YVMV) resistance gene in wild Okra (e) Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Nai miris (f) Molecular characterization of selected Dioscorea accessions 02 HORDI : (a) Genetic variation in Anthurium (b) Varietal screening for virus vectors (Bitter gourd) (c) Brinjal genotypes for resistance/ tolerance to shoot and fruit borer (d) Screening of Banana planting material against panama didease (3) Plant Virus Indexing Centre : (a) Identification of genetic diversity in Kolikuttu banana (b) Development of transgenic papaya through Agrobacterium mediated transformation - DoA
Has been initiated for traditional rice and yam under the food production drive through BACC project
By 2022, a mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising from biodiversity is established and implemented ()
Draft National Policy on access to Biological Resources and Benefit Sharing is being finalized by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MoMD&E). Commercial and non-commercial Material Transfer Agreements have been drafted by the BDS
Code of Ethics for Research on Biological Diversity involving access to Genetic Resources has been developed by the BDS.