July 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Land and Land Development Janaka Bandara Tennakoon says 2,488 hectares of land will be taken over by the government to broaden the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sinharaja rain forest.
The Minister said that the surrounding land that has direct impact on the forest will be taken over.
The Ministry of Environment has already taken steps to survey the forest land to clear the borders and to identify the land that is needed to be taken over.
The Minister says that the moves are aimed at preserving the world heritage rain forest and to protect it for the future generations.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988.
The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.