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* Government’s decision not to promote Oil Palm cultivation continues
Mon, Oct 25, 2021, 10:06 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 25, Colombo: Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to continue implementing the decision not to promote oil palm (Katupol) cultivation in Sri Lanka.

According to the recommendations made to the “Presidential Task Force on Creating a Green Sri Lanka with Sustainable Solutions to Climate Change” ideas have been put forward to gradually uproot the katupol that is currently being cultivated in our country and to cultivate eco-friendly plants in those lands.

The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera has given these instructions during a discussion with the officials of the Central Environmental Authority today (25) regarding the pros and cons of oil palm cultivation in Sri Lanka.

The reports prepared for the tabling of the five year audit reports of the Central Environmental Authority and GSMB Technical Services (PVT) Ltd, which is a state institution under the Ministry of environment, in Parliament and the issues related to the cultivation of oil palm in Sri Lanka were also discussed at the meeting.

Officials of the Central Environmental Authority said that steps could not be taken to manage katupol cultivation under the National Environmental Act.

Central Environmental Authority officials pointed out that the Environmentalists as well as various scholars have commented on the depletion of groundwater, damage to water sources and adverse effects on certain wildlife, especially due to katupol cultivation.

It has been revealed that a katupol tree in particular needs about 400 liters of water per day. Therefore, there is a possibility of ground water depletion due to katupol cultivation, the officials pointed out to the Minister.

It has been revealed that the oil palm tree in particular needs about 400 liters of water per day. Therefore, there is a possibility of ground water depletion due to katupol cultivation, the officials pointed out to the Minister.

Palm oil currently supplies about 35 percent of the world's vegetable oil needs. Palm oil is a good substitute for vegetable oil. Also, the area required to produce a ton of palm oil is much less than the other oil sources. However, it is being observed that countries growing oil palm are gradually withdrawing from the cultivation of the palm.

Accordingly, the Minister instructed to further implement the measures taken not to promote katupol cultivation at present.

The Minister also instructed that the Central Environmental Authority to conduct further research on katupol cultivation and the environmental damage caused by it.

Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Dr. Hemantha Jayasinghe, Director General of the Central Environmental Authority also participated in the discussion.

 

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