Monday, August 06, 2007



Afforestation of Pine in Sri Lanka was commenced in 1965, aiming to minimize the soil erosion in barren land and to prevent encroachment of these lands. Pine is a major plantation species planted by the Forest Department and so there is a considerable volume of Pine timber that is released in to the market. But as a result of lack of knowledge on preservative and treatment techniques and lack of information dissemination, most of the Pine logs are sold for temporary construction purposes ( Ex: Shuttering ) rather than using them for sold in a value added form.
Hence under this marketing plan, it has been proposed to manufacture a “Chest bookcase”, which has three drawers at the bottom and two small drawers at the top. Consumes only 37.5 cm width, so it is easy to handle and more books, magazines as well as other small goods can also be kept on the shelf. Product will be freely delivered after purchasing. Competitiveness can be raised from same class timber species such as treated Rubber. But new Rubber clones are available in small girths where large girths are possible for taking from Pine.
A marketing plan for the developed product can be given by four P’s which consist of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. At present one cubic foot is about 170 rupees at the State Tiber Cooperation Depots. Hence after calculating the transport costs, labor costs, treatment and seasoning costs, this product can be sold to 12,900 rupees keeping 4000 rupees of a profit. The company will be located at Kandy, because most of the Pine resource is available in plantations found in Kandy. Hence the transport cost will be minimized and so the product can be sold at a reasonable price. Also the possibility for attacking blue stain is really less. The product will be promoted by advertisements, distributing brochures at furniture exhibitions and launching a web site.
According to the product-market strategy analysis, the new product can be sold to the existing markets as Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Moratuwa etc and it can be sold at new markets which consists of exporting markets where countries as Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America. The timber has its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities as well as threats.
Due to the information dissemination of proper treatment and preservation techniques utilizing Pine timber for furniture manufacturing is significantly low. Hence it is really urgent to organize promotion campaigns to disseminate information among respective stakeholders. Also it is necessary to develop a marketing information system for Pine wood in order to create appropriate demand among the end users. So such actions should be implemented as possible to avoid unnecessary waste of large volume of Pine which expected to be released to the markets in the incoming years.



Poverty can be defined as the state of non fulfillment of minimum requirements of food, shelter, clothing which are the components of basic needs of the people. It refers to forms of economic, social and psychological deprivation occurring among people lacking sufficient ownership, control or access to resources fro minimum required level of living. Hence the World Bank proposes to attack poverty in three distinct ways: promoting opportunities, facilitating empowerment, and enhancing security. (World Bank 2001). Social forestry addresses this concept of poverty in all these three different ways.

Social forestry refers to carrying out a number of specific forest management objectives with the local participation and aiming at fulfillment of local needs for forest products and services. Forests reduce poverty in two ways, by providing tangible benefits as well as by providing intangible benefits. Tangible benefits refer to the food, shelter, cloths, construction materials and mulch. Besides meeting their basic needs, they provide gainful employment and income through selling of minor products to external market. Intangible benefits consist of Carbon sequestration, Replacement of fossil fuels, Water conservation, Soil conservation as well as Aesthetic and ecotourism. These services provide additional financial benefits to the involving communities.

When considering this issue on Sri Lankan perspective National Forest Policy and forestry Sector Master Plan have promoted the concept of social forestry with the active participation of forest fringe communities. Several social forestry programmes have been taken place in Sri Lankan history from 1982 up to now. Forest resource management project and Sri Lanka - Australia natural resource management project are more significant here. By establishing farmer’s woodlots, reforestation of degraded lands, increased ecotourism and promotion of marketing opportunities have brought additional income along with increasing the living standards of the community.

Recent policy shifts and multilateral forestry development projects have attempted to reintegrate communities with the public sector, however it is apparent that fundamental transfers of authority to local groups have not yet taken place nor the legal steps been made to allow this to happen. Because state has generally left rural committees out of forestry sector decision making. To avoid this circumstance, the forest fringe communities must integrate to decision making processes as well as it is necessary to formulate a policy that is based on the grass root level needs and is implementable.
No country can improve its quality of life and standard of living unless its human resources are wedded to natural resources. Hence, if the concepts of social forestry are taken place effectively, it truly can contribute to total poverty reduction in near future……

Friday, August 03, 2007

Planting trees in wet boggy soil.

Wet boggy soil is which the soil is badly or imperfectly drained. Generally these areas can be find high rainfall areas. The surfaces have no connection to ground water sources. When rainwater is trapped in bag mosses, their extraordinary capacity to retain water raises the water table to just a few centimeters. The vertical water exchange is very low. Rainwater seeps through the upper peat layers at a rate of the bog soil. The boggy soil is poorly drained area, a climate where precipitation exceeds evaporation & a nutrient poor environment that favors peat mosses in their ecologic competition against higher plants. Growth of higher plants is also curbed by peat mosses themselves, because they bind available nutrients & render the bog water acidic, with a pH of 3 – 4.
Only a limited variety of highly specialized higher plants can survives on boggy soil. They have to be acid resistant & able to take root in a spongy, extremely wet, oxygen poor environment. Nutrients are scare & in their competition for light. The plants have to adapt to the growth pattern of peat moss.
The diseases thrive in wet boggy soil with poor drainage. A free draining soil is a solution. Improving drainage of the soil by sub soiling, mole drains, laying pipes to carry excess water away will help. By addition of fertilizer can increase the fertility of the soil. So apply various methods to improve the quality of the soil can increase the growth of plants on the wet boggy soil.

Review of EIA report of Baseline extension phase 3.

A proposal has been prepared by the Road Development Authority (RDA) to extend the Baseline road from Kirillapone, High Level Road junction to the Galle Road. This is the third & final phase of the Baseline Road Project. The feasibility study for this extension has selected three alternative traces. Option one is Extends towards South from its starting point at High level Road & falls to the Galle road at Williams junction. Option two is, starts from Baseline –High level road junction & joins the Galle road at Mt. Lavinia. The option three is, follows the same alignment as option 2 up to the Attidiya Development Zone & continues south from this point onwards & crosses Attidiya Mirihana road. Then follows up to Galle road. The trace/s has been designed to a speed of 70 km/hr with dual 3 lanes. Option 3 has been identified & selected as the preferred alternative for further studies & was studies in detail for its environmental impacts.
The cost of this was estimated at Sri Lanka Rupees 4771 million. The feasibility study has revealed that the proposed project would affect 448 buildings with the complete demolition of 337 properties & partial demolition of 111. The scope of this study covers the present status of the environment in the project area & the likely effects of the project on the physical, biological & socio economic environment. Mitigatory measures to minimize or eradicate the adverse environmental consequences are also detailed in the report along with a monitoring plan to ensure that the mitigatory measures proposed will be carried out on long term basis.
When consider the project area, it belongs to three local government authorities; Dehiwala/Mount Lavinia MC, Colombo MC & Ratmalana DS Division. Majority of the affected population live in Dehiwala MC area. In the proposed road reservation about 80% of the land is used for residential purposes. Social infrastructure facilities in the area fairly developed & expect in low income communities majority of the population enjoy good standard of living with regard to schooling, health care, transportation etc. due to urbanization the ecological resources in the project area are limited to home gardens, water bodies, streams & two patches of degraded marshes in Attidiya, Kawdana & Badowita. The area has uniform climatological condition prevail over the full extent with little local variation. Drainage pattern is thus primarily a result of topographical variations.
When we consider the environmental impacts they divided the environment in to three parts. They are Physical, Biological & Socio economics environments. And they divided each one in to several parameters & identified several impacts that relevant to the project. Eg; Impact on noise/land use/ air etc.
When consider the mitigatory measures, the report included the measures in more details. Most of them are very adoptable to Sri Lanka.
When consider whole EIA report the project will be a very important & useful project

Review of policies related to waste management in Sri Lanka.

Waste is a growing problem in Sri Lanka aggravated in the absence of proper management systems. Waste includes any matter prescribe to be waste & any matter, whether liquid, solid, gaseous or radioactive, which is discharged, emitted or deposited in the environment in such volume, constituency or manner as to cause an alternation of the environment. Mainly there are two types of wastes. They are solid waste and hazardous waste. Solid waste is described as non liquid waste material arising from domestic, trade, commercial, industrial & agricultural activities as well as waste arising from public sectors. Hazardous wastes have become an important environmental matter in many countries including Sri Lanka.
Mismanagement of waste & its improper lead to health & environmental problems. Air pollution, water pollution can arise because of the waste. Mainly hazardous wastes make serious health problems such as cancers.
Generation of waste is increasing with the increase of the population, technological development & the changes of life style of the people. Therefore policies should be formulated to encourage waste management practices through waste avoidance/reduction, reuse & recycling & thereafter final disposal in an environmental sound manner. When we consider the policies which are relating to the waste management in Sri Lanka, we can consider about the Municipal Council Ordinance, Urban Council Ordinance, Pradeshiya Sabha Act, National Environment Act, Amendment to the National Environmental (Protection & Quality) regulations No.01 of 1990, Basel convention & Rota dam convention.
If someone looks at those acts, he/she can think that waste management is properly happen in Sri Lanka. But actually there are various problems related to the waste management. Eg: Local authorities have lack of knowledge to preparation of suitable project proposals, It cannot be easy to get actions against the haphazard activities related to waste management done by LA,s, No legal mandatory for source separation and producer responsibility, polluter pay principals, etc.
Even if there are problems, many programmes are conducting in Sri Lanka. Some examples for those programmes are Composting programes, sanitary land fill in Mawanella, Bio gas generators in Tamankaduwa & Pathadumbara, Incineration programme carrying by Holcim Company, etc.
It’s necessary to get implementation actions for above mention problems such as educate the local authorities by giving resources, Create a separate Tax for waste management or spot fine system for the illegal dumping, Make a proper disposal mechanism for hazardous waste, etc.
If can solve the problems related to the waste management and can implement the existing programmes, we can make a proper waste management system in Sri Lanka.

Approval requirements, Standards & Pollution control of Tyre Industry

Tyre manufacturing industry is one of the largest industries in Sri Lanka. The tyre manufacturing process begins in the rubber tree plantations. According to the data in 2002 total no. of tyres imported and manufactured in Sri Lanka is 2.1million per year. (Source: Technical Guidelines on used tyre management in SL).
This industry needs several requirements and standards are needed for its establishment and pollution control. Normally use the general standards that given by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) for any industry. Therefore National standards and requirements for tyre industries should be prepared.
When consider the requirements that needed for a Tyre industry are, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Protection License (EPL). The EIA Should be carried out, if the proposed industry will make production of 50 tons per day. EPL for this industry should not be considered as an approval for carrying out this activity/process at this location. It is only a permit for the discharge of effluents/emissions or emitting of noise levels according to stipulated standards. There are several conditions in EPL. As an example, there are standard levels for noise that generated form the manufacturing process. Those standards vary with the time of the day.
When consider the Tyre manufacturing process, it is a complex process. Basically there are five stages. They are Mixing process, Extruding process, Plies making process, Bead making process and Building process. Wastes are generating in an every stage. The Mixing process has the highest waste generation. It is dust. Mainly the Carbon dust generated in that process. Therefore industries use dust collectors to minimize the dust emission to the environment. Because this dust affects not only to the laborers, but also to the people in the surrounding area. Another waste is rubber scraps that release in various stages. Mostly the industries sell these scraps to the rubber products manufacturers. Eg: CEAT Tyre Company sells their scraps to the DSI, Arpico, etc. noise is a pollution that happens in these industries. The industries always try to maintain the noise within the given levels in EPL. Planting trees around the periphery of the site will reduce the effect of the noises.
Therefore good practices can reduce the waste generation in the tyre industry.

Fuel wood availability, collection and uses in Sri Lanka.

When we consider the Energy sources in Sri Lanka, we unable to forget fuel wood. There are specific characteristics are included in those trees which are using as fuel wood. They are high growth rate, strong coppicing ability, wider adaptation to different environments, nitrogen fixing ability, ease of establishment, short rotation, resistant to pest and disease, high calorific value and additional benefits - Food, Fodder, green manure, timber. Some selected tree species are; Gliricidia sepium, Acacia auriculiformis, Calliandra callothyrsus, Albizia lebek, Eucalyptus robusta, etc.
As mentioned earlier fuel wood is the main and major energy source in Sri Lanka. About 90% of the population in Sri Lanka uses the Fuel wood as an energy source. There are two main fuel wood sources. They are forest resource and the Non-forest resource. When consider the Forest resources, it includes Natural forests, forest plantations, woodlots and abandoned chena lands. Home gardens, rubber plantations, coconut plantations, other croplands, shade trees, trees planted in the road sides and wind brakes are coming under the Non-forest resource.
When consider the collection of fuel wood, women play a major role in it. In rural areas, people collect fuel wood form their home garden and the forest that located near them. But urban areas this is difference. Because they have limited area. So they purchase fuel wood from the market.
The key important sectors in use of fuel wood are House-hold sector and the Industrial sector. About 87.5% households and 49% industry use fuel wood as an energy source. The main industry that uses fuel wood as an energy source is Tea industry. About 326,000 MT of fuel wood is consumed annually. They use energy to dry the tea leaves.
The uneven distribution of fuel wood over the country has created fuel wood deficit in some localized areas and surplus in some districts. The reasons that created the shortage in some areas high transport cost, unequal access to fuel wood resources and less land availability in urban areas.
There are some legislation to control extraction and the transport of the fuel wood. Eg; Forest ordinance, Fauna and Flora protection ordinance, Felling of trees ordinance, etc.
The major advantages in the use of fuel wood are, it is free available renewable source of energy, community based fuel wood plantations also offer opportunities for self-employment and collection and transport of wood from fuel wood plantations can generate income.
But the disadvantage of this is the Fuel Wood consumption may contributes significantly to the deforestation of natural forests, with the increase of the population. So more emphasis should be given to develop the energy sources outside the Natural Forests.