In 2022, Rainforest Protectors Trust purchased and permanently protected an additional 10 acres of privately held primary forest adjoining Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest in Sri Lanka as part of its long-term project to create a "Protected Buffer Zone". Funding for the conservation of above 10 acres came 100% from individual donations made through our crowdfunding project in GlobalGiving. This tract containing giant Dipterocarpus zeylanicus and other endangered flora, directly borders Sinharaja rainforest as well as a previous 7.5 acres saved by Rainforest Protectors Trust in 2021, thus creating a contiguous protected buffer zone. Creation of a live fence through planting native trees along the border was also successfully carried out.
Acquisition and conservation of unprotected primary forest land such as above is the single most effective method of preventing extinction of the endemic and endangered birds and freshwater fish found here such as the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornata), Sri Lanka Red Faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus Pyrrhocephalus), Sri Lanka Cuming's Barb (Pethia cumingii), Sri Lanka Black Ruby Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata), Sri Lanka Lipstick Goby (Sicyopus jonklaasi) and the last 2 remaining Rainforest Elephants in Sinharaja. Looking forward to 2023 and beyond, we have 3 major initiatives.
1. Expanding the conservation of additional unprotected forest lands bordering Sinharaja Rainforest.
2. Monitoring and safeguarding the Protected Buffer Zone.
3. Purchase of a suitable property to establish a Rainforest Conservation and Education Center.
We wish to thank all our donors and supporters for your contributions. With several thousand acres of primary forest in the area still remaining unprotected, we are just at the begining stages of this conservation initiative. As we progress on protecting threatened rainforests, we are also taking steps to ensure these habitats stay protected in perpetuity through frequent monitoring. "Rainforest Guardians" are at the heart of this vital effort, hired from the surrounding community and trained to monitor the protected area. We hope you will continue to support us in 2023 and help recruit your friends and family join and be part of this conservation story.
Great News! We have identified and spoken to several individuals who have necessary skills to be a Rainforest Guardian. Initially we plan to have one part-time Rainforest Guardian to monitor the forest lands protected by Rainforest Protectors Trust. The funds raised so far will enable us to support the chosen person initially for a few months. However, the cost of funding a part-time Rainforest Guardian is approximately $75 per month and as of today we have only a $5 recurring donation for this cause. Therefore, we urge our donors to consider setting up a recurring monthly donation for us to reach the above minimum goal to ensure we have enough funds to support the Rainforest Guardians.
The "Rainforest Guardians" will play a vital role in the future conservation of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. We give priority to villagers with knowledge and skills required for this role to ensure the community benefits from our conservation efforts and that they value the rainforest as is instead of chopping it down.
Record high inflation (reaching 60%), lack of fuel shutting down the entire country, formal announcement of bankruptcy, massive public protests, President fleeing the country, these are some of the dramatic events which occurred during the last 3 months in Sri Lanka. During this period, Rainforest Protectors Trust also faced significant challenges due to transportation issues - finding a mode of transportation due to lack of fuel and the exorbitant price of hired transportation, resulting in delayed project activities.
While the cost of almost everything has doubled due to inflation during last few months, the price of land has not, at least for the time being as the real estate market has cooled down. We believe that cost of land will start going up once the economy stabilizes. Therefore, the best time to acquire privately held forest land for conservation and expand the protected buffer zone of Sinharaja Rainforest is right now.
Rainforest Protectors Trust is currently exploring and surveying privately held forest lands for possible acquisition to expand the protected buffer zone. Having protected 4 forest lands totaling 24 acres, we are also working towards purchasing a suitable and easily accessible property nearby for setting up a Rainforest Conservation and Education Center. Once setup it will also enable Rainforest Guardians (villagers employed to protect the conservation lands as well as Sinharaja rainforest) to carry out their work.
Audited Financial Accounts for the past 3 years were also completed during the past quarter, and these statements are available to the public through Rainforest Protectors Trust website under the "About" section.
We urge foreign donors and Sri Lankan expatriates living overseas to please consider making a onetime or better yet a recurring monthly donation for any amount. As mentioned earlier, this is the best time to acquire land for conservation and Rainforest Protectors Trust is looking forward to protecting as much as possible. Together, we can make a difference and achieve the goal of creating a protected buffer zone for Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest.
The past couple of months has been extremely challenging around the world but more so in Sri Lanka due to the economic crisis. Sri Lankans are faced with 13 hour power cuts, lack of fuel, shortage of food and medicine as a result of the ongoing economic crisis triggered primarily by corruption, endless money printing, mismanagement of funds by the Government, Covid and a war in Ukraine. Inflation is skyrocketing in Sri Lanka as well as around the world, which has resulted in hardworking, tax paying citizens stretched to the limit.
The current inflationary environment is hitting hard for non-profit organizations as donations are decreasing significantly. Rainforest Protectors Trust has seen total donations during the last 2 months reduced by 30%. Despite the challenging times, a large group of volunteers from MAS Intimates (Pvt) Ltd visited one of our conservation forest lands bordering Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest on February 25th to create a live fence by planting native Hal and Puwak (Arecanut) trees along the boundary.
Having protected 4 forest lands totaling 24 acres, Rainforest Protectors Trust is now focused on purchasing a suitable and easily accessible property nearby for setting up its first Rainforest Conservation and Education Center. Once setup it will also enable Rainforest Guardians (villagers employed to protect the conservation lands as well as Sinharaja rainforest) to carry out their work.
While costs are increasing due to inflation, the recent dramatic devaluation of the Sri Lanka Rupee provides overseas donors to double their positive impact if acted now. Therefore, we wish to urge foreign donors and Sri Lankan expatriates living overseas to please consider making a onetime or better yet a recurring monthly donation for any amount. Together, we can make a difference and achieve the goal of creating a protected buffer zone for Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest.
In 2021, Rainforest Protectors Trust was able to expand the protected buffer zone of Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest in Sri Lanka by purchasing and permanently protecting an additional privately held 7.5 acres primary forest land. This beautiful and highly bio-diverse forest tract directly bordering Sinharaja rainforest was in danger of being clearcut, as similar forest lands nearby are facing deforestation due to encroaching tea plantations. More importantly it prevents encroachment of the core protected area due to its strategic location in the buffer zone. With this conservation success, Rainforest Protectors Trust has now protected a total of 3 forest lands totaling 14 acres in the area.
Looking forward to 2022, we are extremely close towards protecting an additional 10 acres right next to the above protected land. Purchasing and protecting this contiguous 10 acres helps us create a linear extension of the buffer zone and increasing the total protected area to 24 acres. All our protected lands contain at least one stream, if not more, as well as some facing river frontage. We cannot emphasize enough how this helps protect the endangered and endemic freshwater species of Sri Lanka.
We wish to thank all our donors for your contribution towards creating a buffer zone for Sinharaja World Heritage Rainforest. As we progress on protecting threatened rainforests, we are also taking steps to ensure the conservation lands stay protected through frequent monitoring and your donations towards supporting Rainforest Guardians is crucial. We hope you will continue to support us in 2022 and help recruit your friends and family join and be part of this conservation story.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to Rainforest Protectors Trust today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.