A plan reborn

SRI Lanka's forestry master plan is to be revived, reports Mallika Wanigasundara from Colombo. The plan, which was prepared between 1983 and 1986, with the help of the Finnish Development Agency and the World Bank, had to be shelved because of fierce opposition from environmentalists. One of the main objections was that the plan overestimated the forest cover of the country, proposed selective felling even in hitherto highly-protected areas and turned a blind eye to the threat to natural resources.

The plan is now being revised with the help of NGOs, scientists and researchers. A forestry planning unit, being established by the government, will oversee the revision of the plan.