In the recent past, many parties, including media, politicians and NGOs made a huge criticism about the activities engaged in the Knuckles mountain range. Considering this situation the Natural Resource Management unit (NRM) of Environmental Management and Assessment Division (EMA) of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) arranged a special conference on 12th July 2018 at the Auditorium of the CEA
It was unveiled that in the year 2000 the Forest Department has declared this mountain range as conserved as Knuckles conservation forest. The private lands and other state lands not belongs to the Forest Department in 2007 as an Environmental Protection Area (EPA) by the CEA under the provisions of the NEA. But the demarcation of the buffer zone of the Knuckles conservation forest was the problematic issue to create this dialog in the society.
In the conference Mr. Thilak Mahanama, Chairman Sri Lanka State Plantation Cooperation express that they have not taken any decision which can damage to the conservation forest. In the future also will never give permission to carry out any projects, which will harm to the Kunckles mountain range.
The conference Mr. Wasantha Dissanayake, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment, Mr. S M G K Perera, District Secretary Mathale, Mr. J P U K Jayarathne, Additional District Secretary, Kandy, Ms. Medha Bemmulla, Director, Ministry of Lands, Mr. M A A M Jayarathne, DFC Forest Department, Mr. K P Welikannage Director, Central Province Office CEA and Mr. H M N Dinipriya Divisional Secretary, Rattota, expressed their views and the current situation relevant to their institutions.
Mr. Chandrarathna Pallegama, Chairman CEA said that demarcation of the buffer zone for the conservation forest of the Knuckles mountain range and identify the restricted activities in the area is the main target to achieve to protect this area.
Ms. Kanthi de Silva, Actg. Deputy Director General EM&A, Ms. W M Priyangani Gunathilake, Director, NRM, senior officers from the CEA and other relevant institutions and media personnels were participated in the occasion.