The past three decades have seen rapid depletion of Sri Lanka’s forests, both in extent and quality. Forest land has been released to meet demands of an expanding population and timber has been harvested indiscriminately. The only guideline for harvesting of forests was the sustained yield regulation based on minimum felling girth, but even this was not stringently applied. Natural closed canopy forests were severely reduced in extent from 29,000 sq. km (44 per cent of land area) in 1956 to 16,590 sq. km (27 per cent) in 1980. The maps shown here indicate that by 1983 12,260 sq. km (19 per cent) remained, of which only 1440 sq. km was rain forest.
KeywordsBiomass Depression Europe Rubber Charcoal
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