THANK YOU FOR YOUR SPONSORSHIP!
Sri Lanka is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. Its stunning forests are filled with wildlife but are increasingly coming under threat from urban development. With your help, we can protect forests whilst supporting sustainable development in the region.
Here is some more information about the area you have sponsored:
Where is my forest?
Your forest patch is located near Digana in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, about 45 minutes from the famous cultural city of Kandy. It is in the foothills of the Knuckles Conservation Forest and overlooks the beautiful Victoria Lake.
The forest in this area is particularly important as it plays a role in securing the water supply to the Victoria Dam, Sri Lanka's largest hydropower plant, as well as to many smallholder farmers in the villages below. It is located between two protected areas, the Knuckles Conservation Forest and the Victoria Randenigala Rantembe Sanctuary, so has the potential to play a key role as a wildlife corridor.
Your patch is located next to the Forest Healing Foundation's Bululand Reforestation project, which has been running for nearly 4 years and has seen lots of wildlife return to the land.
What wildlife lives in it?
The forests here are home to an incredible 62 species of birds, including 15 endemic species. Sri Lankan grey hornbills, scarlet minivets, Tickell's blue flycatchers and yellow-fronted barbets can all be seen on an almost daily basis.
In terms of mammals, you can find the endangered toque macaques, giant squirrels, mongooses, wild boar, porcupines, barking deer and several species of wild cats. There are also lots of shrub frogs, various reptile species, including the critically endangered great forest gecko, and of course the odd snake..!
The forest here is known as Kandyan Garden Forest, after an ancient agroforestry practice. That means it is full of tasty fruits and spices, including mango, jackfruit, cinnamon and pepper, as well as the jungle trees.
Why is it threatened?
The forest you sponsor is known as Mudalali Land, after the Sinhala word for "businessman". Despite several attempts at negotiations to save the trees, the owner is determined to sell the land and, as there are two new roads coming to this area, it is highly likely that it will be sold for development. The nearby town of Digana has grown rapidly in recent years as urbanisation spreads out from Kandy. Plans to develop a new highway between the capital Colombo and Kandy are expected to further this trend.
We have also seen a noticeable increase in deforestation during the COVID-19 crisis, as people search for alternative sources of income. The Forest Healing Foundation's goal is to promote sustainable development, which benefits both communities and nature. We aim to plant additional fruit and spice trees on this land for the local villages to harvest to ensure they receive a strong financial return from the conservation of the forest,
How will it be protected?
We are aiming to purchase the land in the name of the Forest Healing Foundation so that it can be managed as a protected area and not suffer any environmental harm. Additional planting will be carried out by our passionate team and we will also look after the security of the forest to make sure its trees and wildlife are safe.
You can follow our progress on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see updates from the forest and lots of photos of its animal inhabitants!