All the forests located near the Wilpattu North Sanctuary belonging to the Department of Forest Conservation will be declared as one Reserve.
Accordingly,President Mahripala Sirisena,who is on three days official visit to Russia,signed the special Gazette notification in Moscow,today (24),declaring Mavillu, Weppal, Karadikkuli,Marichchikadi and Vilaththikulam forests as Mawillu forest Reserve under the 3A of the Forest Conservation Ordinance.
If there is any necessity to make variation of limits of conservation forest only the Minister may by Order published in the Gazette, declare that the limits of any conservation forest shall be altered or varied. An Order made by the Minister under subsection (1) will have no effect until it has been approved by the President and confirmed by Parliament and notification of such confirmation is published in the Gazette.
Consequently the conservation forest will get the maximum legal coverage and the protection in this regard will be ensured.
Recently,several media organizations made allegations that deforestation is taking place in the Wilpattu National Park as well as in the surrounding forests.
Even such allegations were made,according to the investigations carried out in this regard revealed that, there was no deforestation taking place,except lands given to the resettlement purposes in 2012/2013.
During the meeting held on December 30,2016 under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena on this issue, the President has given instructions to issue a Gazette notification to declare forests near the released land area as conservation forest to ensure the protection of these forests.