Teejay supports project which creates a 9-km forest corridor on the banks of Maskeli Oya

Leading textile manufacturer Teejay Lanka PLC has pledged funding support towards part of the reforestation of a nine-kilometer section of the banks of the MaskeliOya, a major upstream tributary of one of Sri Lanka’s most important rivers, the Kelani.

Connecting to the foothills of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, the initiative is supported as part of the Company’s sustainability roadmap and will enhance water quality, reduce human animal conflict, and contribute to combating climate change as well.

The project, on land in the MaskeliyaUpcot valley that is to be released for the purpose by the Hayleys Group’s Horana Plantations PLC, is being executed and managed by Preserving Land and Nature (Guarantee) Limited (PLANT), a company established by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s largest and most active conservation entity.

A Memorandum of Understanding entered into by Teejay and PLANT (www.plantsl.org) envisages the regeneration of forest cover on 30 to 50feet wide continuous strips of land on the opposing banks of the waterway. Five project segments combine, forming a nine-kilometer forest corridor that will create over 50 hectares of new forest, with one of these segments funded by Teejay.

Teejay Lanka CEO MrPubudu De Silva said the two-year project would be a significant element of the Company’s ‘Abhivarah 2030’ sustainability roadmap and generate valuable carbon credits, while helping restore one of the country’s most scenic natural habitats to its pristine state. “Teejay is also focused on initiatives to improve the environment in and around the Kelani River and its related ecosystems, and this project is a perfect extension of that commitment,” he said.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU, PLANT Chairman Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne commended Teejay for the company’s solid commitment towards nature preservation and for the many groundbreaking initiatives it is taking. “PLANT is fortunate to have visionary partners like Teejay coming forward to set an example for others to follow,” he added.

The forest corridor that is to be created by PLANT as part of this reforestation project will comprise of multipletree species including Tel-keena (Calophyllum walker) Kudu dawula or dawulKurundu – (Neolitsea cassia) Gal-Weralu (Elaeocarpussubvillosus) and Kenda (Macaranga sp.)among others, thereby helping to enhance the biodiversity of the area, prevent soil erosion and flooding.

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