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Sri Lanka’s REDD+ Potential: Myth or Reality?

External Reference/Copyright
Issue date: 
May 2011
Publisher Name: 
Forest Carbon Asia
Unna Chokkalingam & S. Anuradha Vanniarachchy
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May, 2011


Unna Chokkalingam & S. Anuradha Vanniarachchy

Publication Type:



Forest Carbon Asia Country Profile Report No. 1: Sri Lanka

Little of Sri Lanka’s original forest cover remains, about two million hectares or 30% of the land area. Remaining natural forests are protected for their biodiversity, soil and watershed services. Most of Sri Lanka’s forest products come from home gardens and other private smallholder systems, which add up to another 1.8 million hectares or 27% of the land area. First field studies suggest that some forest and agroforestry systems hold substantial carbon stocks. However, Sri Lanka has little real information on forest status, trends and pressures in the last decade. An ongoing national forest assessment may help shed more light on the true scope for forest carbon activities in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka has had little forest carbon activity so far, both at the national level and on the ground. Two state agencies administer 93% of Sri Lanka’s forest lands. Recent policy amendments seek to enhance private and community participation in conservation and production activities and are open to exploring alternative tenure, financing and benefit-sharing options. These policy developments in principle allow more room for public participation in and benefit from REDD+ in public and private lands. The Forest Department is the key focal point for REDD+ and it is currently drafting a UN-REDD supported program for building national REDD readiness.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut