Full environment assessment for war-torn areas

By Nadia Fazlulhaq

Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts would come under a comprehensive region-based environment assessment prior to any construction in those districts.

“The environment in these areas is damaged and polluted by the three-decade long conflict. The environment status has not been assessed all these years and we have only some research done by a university. A region wise Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) would take place soon before any construction takes place,” Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka said.

Priority would be given to environmentally sensitive areas and agricultural areas that were destroyed due to the use of weaponry, he said.

“The area where the Talladi camp in Mannar is situated is rich in bio-diversity. The Chundikkulam sanctuary had been destroyed as Sea Tiger bases were built there destroying many marsh lands. Some experiments done by the LTTE too have cause serious damage to the environment in Chalai and Putumattalan areas,” he said.

He said that instead of EIA (Environmental Impact Assessments) and the IEE (Initial Environment Experiments) there is a need for a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) that covers a huge land space.

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