Bellanwila bird sanctuary losing its glory

Published : 9:50 am  August 31, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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By H.M.Dharamapala and Kusal Chamath   

Reidents of the area and the environmentalists accused the authorities of allowing unauthorised erections in the Bellanwila protected environmental zone and the bird sanctuary. They pointed out that a vast area of the sensitive environmental zone is occupied by squatters who haphazardly filled the marshes  that had been the abode of exotic birds. They pointed out that the bird sanctuary had turned into a dumping ground and a safe haven of gangs engaging in nefarious activities including drug addicts, twilight women and robbers. The public expressed concern about the lethargic attitude of the police environmental unit and the wildlife conservation department regarding the wonton destruction and failing to provide protection to the environmental zone and the bird sanctuary which had once being a tourist attraction.  


Environmentalists said that Sri Lanka was one of the signatories to the International “ Ramsa” Convention of 1987 for the protection of wetlands all over the world, but the authorities had failed to provide protection to the Bellanwila environmental zone which had been identified as a wetland in the country and a highly sensitive environmental zone.   


 The warning boards to prevent dumping of garbage has not served 

 

Sri Lanka was one of the signatories to the International “ Ramsa” Convention of 1987 for the protection of wetlands all over the world, but the authorities had failed to provide protection to the Bellanwila environmental zone which had been identified as a wetland in the country and a highly sensitive environmental zone

 

any purpose and large collections of garbage have been left in the bird sanctuary causing extensive environmental damage. Residents of the area pointed out that the heaps of garbage lying near the main water pipeline and near the bridge on Kahawita Mawatha had polluted the canal. They said hundreds of unathoriesed structures had been put up in the protected environmental zone and the bird sanctuary by clearing the jungle which had been the abode of exotic and endemic bird species. They warned that the bird sanctuary had been left to the mercy of the squatters and the gangs who were responsible for haphazard garbage dumping.   

 

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Residents of the area who depended on tourism in the past said that hundreds of tourists visited the bird sanctuary bringing us an income, but many species of birds that created a tourist attraction were now extinct.

 
“Bird sanctuary has been left to the mercy of the squatters and it is now used as a dumping ground.


Unauthorized structures in the 

 

Bird sanctuary has been left to the mercy of the squatters and it is now used as a dumping ground. Unauthorized structures in the environmental zone have created an eyesore. The bird sanctuary teeming with migratory birds from August every year are now extinct

 

environmental zone have created an eyesore. The bird sanctuary teeming with migratory birds from August every year are now extinct. We have complained to the relevant authorities including the Police environmental unit , the Wildlife Conservation Department, and the local authority in this regard, but to no avail” they said.  


They requested Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Buddha Sasana Gamini Jayawickrema Perera to pay attention on the ongoing wanton destruction caused to the Bellanwila environmental zone and the bird sanctuary and to take step to provide with adequate protection. They were hopeful that Minister Jayawickreme Perera who is General Secretary of the Asia –Pacific Parliamentary Envirenomental Authority would restore the environemtnal zone to its past glory and develop it as a tourist attraction.     

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