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Sunday, 05 November 2017 16:22

Activities - 2017 Roar Project


About ‘ROAR’ project

  • Objective: create sustainable model for Sri Lanka on re-forestation using a mixture of early and late successional species with a strong representation of native and naturalized species, with optimal rate of growth and lowest investment
  • Links conservation, science, community development, education and youth
  • Commenced in 2009, but re-vamped in 2016 due to learnings on challenges faced
  • Based in Dikhena village (accessed through Baduraliya, then Hadigalla) with a community of 200 families, whose main income in from Tea small holdings and other agriculture
  • Re-forestation block provided by Forest Department (2Ha = 5acre) to WNPS
  • Phase 1 in 2016 sponsored by Textured Jersey, Rotary and Bureau Veritas with total commitment of LKR 2.1m and Commercial Bank

Significance of project

  • De-forestation is recognized to be a main contributor to climate change
  • An opportunity to develop guidelines on re-establishing endemic and native species-based forestation in denuded lands in wet zone of Sri Lanka, i.e., abandoned gem mined lands, areas which experienced landslides or areas where top soil has been significantly depleted.
  • Be a model for economic sustainability of setting up new mini forests within rural communities for restoring important ecosystem services to these local communities in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 15
  • Protecting endemic Flora and Fauna through productive use of community based home garden zones. This will improve connectivity among forest areas and facilitate movement of pollinators and pest control species beneficial to home gardens
  • Create a living outdoor laboratory for learning and awareness development of the importance of biodiversity, forestry and climate change mitigation


Model on restoration of a rainforest using “Relay Floristics” : a case study for Sri Lanka

  • Consultancy of Profs. Nimal & Savitri Gunatilleke, experts on Sinharaja based studies.
  • Two stage approach will be followed in establishing the forest; (i) create a shady environment, by first establishing ‘Pioneer’ species that grow in sunny areas, (ii) then include ‘Primary forest’ species (whose juveniles are adapted to grow in the cool, shady environment on the forest floor), within the shade of the ‘Pioneer’ species (Concept of ‘Relay Floristics’).
  • Using locally abundant Pioneer species through community engagement, develop an out grower, buy-back model and have their own project nursery.
  • Establish a ‘Primary’ species nursery within the existing forest patch in the area (using both endemic and non-endemic rainforest tree species). This will be done by the Project staff.
  • Project Co-ordinator based at the site with an environmental science background, will oversee the progress of the nurseries, the field site and any other scientific inputs required, on a day to day basis
  • The children in schools in the vicinity linked to the project will be encouraged and stimulated, through field visits to the forest restoration site, to appreciate nature conservation (both, flora and fauna) and gain practical experience on how to convert a kekilla fernland to a restored rain forest (fundamentals of ecological succession).
  • Create a model for sustainable land use policy with economic value to through forestry, for the community, i.e., through including Kithul, medicinal and other useful plants to villagers within the planned forest, as well as from Carbon Credits.
  • Expand the tree count cover in the area, through enrichment of tree species in home gardens, road sides, perimeters of school play grounds, temples and other available public sites in the village.