Forestry and Environment Sympoisum 1998, Sri Lanka

Fourth Annual Symposium organized by Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenapura, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


J B Palipane.
Department of Export Agriculture

The experiment was conducted to study the growth and yield of arabica and robusta coffee grown in agro-forestry systems involving different shade tree species. The final objective is to select the best tree species as shade for coffee.

The experiment was conducted at Delpiliya in the mid country wet zone of Sri Lanka. The experiment site contained four tree species established in 1986 at 2.5m x 2.5m spacing. The four tree species were Gliricidia sepium,Calliandra callothursus, Acasia magnum and Erythrina lithosperma. Robusta coffee in 2.5m x 2.5m and arabica coffee in 1.25m x 1.25m spacing were planted between (lie shade trees. The measurements were also made in a control treatment which had coffee without shade. Each treatment had three replicates.

Yield data of this experiment showed that the highest coffee yield was obtained under Gliricidia and Calliandra, next under Acacia and then Erythrina. The lowest yield was obtained from coffee grown without shade.

Coffee plants were collar pruned in 1996 and collected growth measurement of coffee showed significantly highest shoot growth under Gliricidia, Calliandra, Acacia and Erythrina. Unhealthy stunted shoots were observed in the coffee grown without shade. Hence, it can be concluded that coffee is best grown under Gliricidia, Calliandra, Acacia and Erithrna shade.


H M P B Vidyaratne1 and C M Wijayaratne2
1Central Environmental Authority
2lnternational Irrigation Management Institute

A field study was carried out from march 1997 to December 1997 using direct, field measurements and a questionnaire survey to assess Forest Department's and shared Control of Natural Resources (SCOR) Project's agro forestry inputs and to examine social and institutional aspects concerned in planning and implementing agro forestry inputs. - Data were collected for two agro forestry samples and one control where only SCOR made some interventions

Benefit - cost streams of farmers for each of different items, for unit of land agro forestry plot and 1VPV of that unit are evaluated by considering timber value of leak and income earned by inter - cropping. Survival rate of teak plantation established both in 1995 and 1996 years was between 97% - 98%.

Individual interviews were carried out to consider social and institutional aspects such as farmer - farmer interactions, farmer officer interactions, problems arisen in co-ordination of relevant line agencies, conflicts and conflict resolution between officers and different institutions, attitudinal change of farmers etc.

Other Institutions involved are: Department of Agriculture, Divisional Secretary Office, Government Cooperative shops, Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science and Coconut Cultivation Board.

Major reasons for arising of conflicts are: knowledge and attitudes of Officers of various institutions are different and objectives of various institutions are different.

Many conflicts had been arisen in relation to distribution of incentives; provided by the Participatory Forestry Project. (PFP)

Project's benefits included: Reduction of illicit felling, increased knowledge of farmers on conservation farming and environment conservation. significant increase in NPV and acceptable B: C ratio, increased market links for agro forestry produce etc.


D M A H Senaratne and J Jayasinghe
Land Use Policy Planning Division

Sri Lanka provides a classic example for rapid tropical deforestation. Just over a period of a century, its forest cover has been reduced to a quarter of what it used to be. Consequences of this degradation process have been discussed widely. However, little attention was directed to identify the causes and nature of this process in detailed manner. Therefore this paper attempts to identify and discuss some of the important causal factors responsible for decline of the forest cover in the country. The main objective of this exercise is to derive useful policy implications that are important for sustainable management of forest resources.

A wide variety of factors could be identified as causal factors of this trend. Broadly, they can he categorized as physical and socio-economic factors. The paper direct its attention mainly towards socio-economic factors associated with agricultural development efforts of the country.

The history of deforestation was traced in relation to the historical evolution of policies responsible for expansion of agricultural land uses in the country. Emergence of competing uses for forestlands and other economic activities were reviewed comparatively, giving attention to development priorities of different time periods. Simultaneously, it draws from variety of sources on demographic and socio-economic development of the country too. The factors that are important in national and local scales also were discussed.

Based on the above exercise, some policy implications were derived. They are discussed in the context of priorities of the forest policy identified by the Forestry Sector master Plan (1995). Some recommendations also were made based on the findings of the study.


D M A H Senaratne1 and N K Senaratne2
1Land Use Policy Planning Division
2Care International

Despite promising ecological features of various agro-forestry systems, adoption of these systems by farmers is not always encouraging. This is not surprising, as farmers are operating in a highly competitive commercial environment, where priority is given to economic goals rather than environmental goals. One solution is to develop AF models with species combinations that generate economic returns comparable to competing enterprises, simultaneously with environmental benefits.

The main objective of the current study is to investigate species combinations with improved economic performance. Here two AF practices in Sri Lanka, namely, coconut inter cropping and avenue cropping based on Gliricidia were considered. Information gathered both from primary and secondary sources were used in the study. A number of potential crops were categorized according to their income generating and resource utilization patterns. Among them, there are perennials, semi perennials as well as seasonal crops. Two AF models were developed using Linear Programming technique. Models proposed jak, banana, pepper and coffee as the inter cropping combination which gives the highest economic performance under coconut based systems. In case of avenue cropping with Gliricidia, number of legumes and cereals along with banana was selected as the optimum combination. The economic performance of the developed models were assessed by cost-benefit analysis and their implications on a selected set of economic parameters have been discussed.

The whole exercise shows that, species combination of a system is an important aspect which determines the economic performance of the system. It further suggests that species combination can be manipulated to generate models with desired economic characteristics. Therefore, challenge ahead is to design models with species combinations that find a balance between economic and environmental objectives.


K G S Gunawardena1 , Anura Saturusinghe2 AND Mangala De Zoysa 1
1Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna
2Forest Department, Battaramulla.

Promotion of agro-forestry in home-gardens has been greatly emphasized as a national priority, in the new amendments of forest-policy in Sri Lanka. Further, development of homestead gardens is one of the major component of the Participatory Forestry Project of the Forest Department. Evidently, the home gardens contribute a substantial amount of food, timber, fuel-wood, fodder etc., of the country. In most of these, home-gardens, the canopy cover is dense with a closure of over 75 percent.

The total extent of land under the home-gardens in Kalutara District has significantly decreased during the last decade. However, the remaining home-gardens are a major source of food, timber, and fuel-wood required for household consumption. Moreover, exportable products of the perennial agricultural crops, and fruits required to cater the increasing demand in the tourism are becoming attractive sources of income from the agro­forestry home-gardens in the district. To improve sustainable agro-forestry home-gardens, an assessment of the present agro-forestry home-gardens in the district is essential.

Home centered spatial arrangement in agro-forestry reflects different interactions among household, garden, and gardening as well as socio-economics and indigenous resource management strategies. Hence, the paper discusses the agro-forestry home-gardens in Kalutara district based on the data and information collected through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). The PRA administered the main steps and methods: discussions group maps, aggregate maps, wealth rankings, transect walks, participatory transects, venn diagrams, direct matrix, pair-wise ranking and scoring.


V S P Serasinghe1, M M Chandrasena1, M G U Mendis1
S L Amarajeewa2, K Astrom2 and P Perera2
1Department of Dravya Guna Vignana, Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
2 Department of Pharmacy, Bio-Medical Centre, University of Uppsala, Sweden.

The unique biological diversity of Sri Lanka is vital for the long term welfare of her own people. But her natural forest cover which harbours a rich species diversity is dwindling rapidly due to various reasons. It is customary for the traditional Ayurvedic physicians of Sri Lanka to use plants as the major original source of drugs used in the treatment of diseases. However, there has been drastic decline in the availability of medicinal plants in Sri Lanka since recent past. Therefore, this issue should be dealt with a multidisciplinary approach.

A model survey was conducted in the Moneragala district in order to assess the hardships faced by the traditional physicians due to the scarcity of required varieties of plant ingredients. Another survey was conducted among traditional physicians among five randomly selected districts and also in ayurvedic pharmacies with tile objective of evaluating the status of demand of medicinal plants used for specific diseases using diabetes as a model. All these surveys were carried out using structured questionnaires.

The outcome of these surveys strongly recommend that there is a great necessity to integrate reforestation programmes with medicinal plant cultivation in order to cater to the demand. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs a comprehensive strategy for the development of its medicinal plants. In our opinion, it is the responsibility of the environmentalists to advise and guide the authorities concerned in preserving the medicinal plants which is our National heritage as well.


A N F Perera and E R K Perera
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Peradeniya.

Ethnoveterinary practices in Sri Lanka were in use from time immemorial. This system of treatments rely on the herbal species available and their medicinal value. These traditional practices descended from generation to generation had become a culture in the socio­economic life of the people and the ones who practice these traditional systems of treatment possessed a high status in the society. The evidence of practicing this system of treatments is not confined only to Sri Lanka, but to the whole of Asia and Africa. In Asia it is believed that this is one of the major branches of Ayurveda. In India, enthnoveterinary practices using various plants were recorded during 1200 B.C. Even during King Asoka's period these herbal based treatments were used to treat animal. The Sri Lankan ethnoveterinary practices has its roots from India. According to the history, king Rawana has a team of physicians to treat animals headed by Sushena. With Mahinda, a group of Ayurvedic scholars had also arrived and settled at Anuradhapura. In the 3 century, king Dutugemunu has his physicians treated his Royal elephant. King Buddadasa (337 to 365 A.D.) himself was a physician and treated animals. In addition to Ayurveda, time to time Siddiza system and Unani systems were introduced to Sri Lanka by the Hindu Tamils and Muslims, respectively.

Sri Lanka being an island and its strategic location, it is rich in florist biodiversity to accommodate many species of plants both endemic and indigenous. These plants have been widely used in the Ethnoveterinary practices. Almost all the plant parts are used in treatment and commonly called "pas panguva" including flower, fruit, leaf, whole plant, rhizome, root, bark, seed, stem and juice. The active ingredients are alkaloids, polyphenolic compounds, saponin, glucoside, essential oils, sterol, inorganic and organic salts etc. These medicinal plants are used in the Ethnoveterinary practices as decoctions, infusions, powder, juice, poultice or paste, bolus etc. These preparations are used in drenching, force feeding, topical application, nasal application, vaginal application, anal application, fumigation and hanging bouquet. Presently, many plant species of medicinal value and their populations are rapidly diminishing due to so called development and lack of awareness. On the other hand these traditional systems are either not passed down to next generation or the present generation is not interested. Therefore, they are subjected to a natural death with time. Another aspect. for the rapid disappearance of this traditional treatment system is the invasion by the allopathic therapy.

Effective action is needed to both conserve these traditional Ethnoveterinay systems and propagate and conserve these medicinally important plants for the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Abstracts of the papers presented at Forestry and Environmenet symposium 1998

Read all the abstracts of the papers presented at Forestry and Environmenet symposium, organized by Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenapura, Sri Lanka.

This was the 4th symposium in this series of annual symposia. Theme of the symposium was: Development in Environmental Sciences in 1998. This was held on 3 - 4 December 1998 at Hotel Riverina, Beruwala, Sri Lanka.