UN aid to protect Sri Lankan forest cover
The Department of Forests under the Ministry of Environment, with the support of FAO, UNDP and UNEP, took steps towards making forests a major part of Sri Lanka's strategy to combat climate change through the United Nations UN-REDD programme which assists developing countries to prepare and implement their national REDD+ strategies and mechanisms to improve forest governance.
Deforestation and forest degradation are part of the main sources of the release of Green House Gases (GHG) into the atmosphere and climate change. The United Nations UN-REDD programme is a collaborative initiative to prepare countries to participate in the global programmes on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). UNREDD builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with FAO, UNDP and UNEP has already taken steps to formulate a proposal to obtain support through the UN-REDD+ programme.
A consultation workshop was organized on January 12, where key stakeholders were consulted as part of the process of developing UN-REDD programme proposal. A national REDD Task force and Technical Working Groups will be formed, to implement the activities further.
Over 50 forestry experts and stakeholders met to validate the Sri Lanka proposal to UN-REDD which will provide FAO, UNDP and UNEP assistance to prepare Sri Lanka to participate in the global REDD programmes that also include receiving funds to the forestry sector. Conservation of forest biodiversity is of a special relevance to Sri Lanka.
The forests contain most of the biodiversity but is put at risk by continuous deforestation and forest degradation.