Tuesday, 09 July 2024 10:00

Make biodiversity conservation a development priority: Dr. Pillapitiya Featured

Despite boasting about the highest biodiversity per unit area in Asia, Sri Lanka has failed to recognise its conservation as a mandatory development priority, former Wildlife Conservation Department Director General Dr. Sumith Pillapitiya said.

The failure is fuelled by the lack of long-term thinking by the governments in conservation issues, along with their reluctance to allocate money without proven profitability, according to the eminent wildlife researcher Dr. Pillapitiya.

“We need to invest in conservation because we need ecosystem services for development. These services are greater in more biodiverse ecosystems. Without them, development will not take place,” Dr. Pillapitiya pointed out.
He stressed that the stakeholders are compelled to demonstrate wildlife tourism and biodiversity conservation as profitable avenues, in order to convince the authorities.

“The governments tend to allocate funds when things are shown to be profitable. Sri Lanka has enough unique attributes that make it a prime location for wildlife tourism. But what we have done is encouraging mass tourism. Our parks are overcrowded. This has led to a lot of bad reviews among tourists, saying that we harass the wildlife,” Dr. Pillapitiya said.

Therefore, the country is in an urgent need of a paradigm shift in its wildlife tourism approaches and biodiversity conservation efforts.

By encouraging the visits of more high-end tourists and integrating better quality of services, the nation can ensure the sustainability and development of its natural resources, according to Dr. Pillapitiya.

By Nuzla Rizkiya

There are 35832 listings and 1274 categories in our website