I have no intention of going through all the details of the lecture here, as a more knowledgeable write up will surely follow in time. I will merely express my opinions and recollections of what I took back with me from the event.
Pethiyagoda said that he had begun a scheme to re-plant a block of abandoned Tea Land with old growth plants, which over 20 years has shown the slow but promising awakening of a Cloud Forest, where nature takes its course, and fascinating and encouraging signs of rebirth in biodiversity (all living things) of land is taking place. He maintained that it could take 300 years to establish itself into a true Cloud Forest, which will lower the level of Cloud Cover from the present, and could assist in rehabilitating and reversing some of man’s degradation of the ecosystem.
Serendipitously, a few hours ago, on the same day, I had added the following passage to some of my thoughts to my future in this paradise, and what I proposed!
“I, whilst congruent with the above concept like to set up and work on a plan that doubles the forest cover in Sri Lanka from the present, within a 30 year time period, ENSURING the survival of the Country as we know it which is in peril at the moment. This requires working with the State to enact laws and practices.”
I was therefore at one, with the desire to conserve, not just by halting degradation, but by reversing years of de-forestation. We as stakeholders, must decide, how we approach this, bearing in mind what the end result we target. He pointed out that an inevitable consequence of rising living standards, will be the abandonment of small scale agriculture. Citing examples of Costa Rica that had reduced their forest cover even more than we have, and who are now trying to reverse the effects of deforestation, we being a Country with more forest cover today, learn from the inevitable and take steps NOW to gradually return tracts of land to re-establish some of the land lost to degradation, without resorting to further de-forestation!
He gave the scientific and biodiversity explanations to my layman’s desire noted above, and am more determined than ever to set up some kind of plan to make it work, by education of the public, effectively to have this lecture delivered in Sinhala, which will convince the people of the desperate measures needed NOW before it is too late, and build a national dialogue encompassing the YOUTH who will be the beneficiaries of action that we take today to safeguard our environment.
For success it has to boil down to a simple concept to take ROOT~
"Forests save lives, more forests saves the Country" - Lets do it!