Presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake has said he would gazette all water bodies as protected areas, within two years after coming into power.
In his environment policy which will be released today (Oct 17), the JVP backed National People’s Power (NPP) candidate said he would restore the water cascade system in the country, to mitigate flash floods and droughts.
He pledged to set-up a special commission to identify the legal shortcomings of protecting the environment and introduce new environmental laws under his rule.
Dissanayake said he would set-up an expert panel to evaluate the obstacles faced by Sri Lanka in developing its environment, as a result of international agreements and covenants signed by the country.
He stated that an efficient electric fence system would be introduced to prevent elephants from entering villages and that a special unit would be set-up for this purpose.
New elephant corridors connecting wildlife and forest reserves, would be set-up within two years, and a suitable habitat would be created for elephants, Dissanayake said.
His environmental policy further stated that electronic waste recycling plants would be set-up in certain areas, along with biochemical waste management units in each district, to resolve the country’s waste issue.
Dissanayake added that a five-year plan to increase forest cover and medicinal plants would take place on a land area spanning 500,000 acres.
On the same lines, he said that he aims to increase the country’s forest cover up to 35 percent within five years.
The NPP candidate emphasized that a mechanism to prevent soil erosion as a result of farming would be implemented, upon consultation of farmers, within the first six months of his term.