Helping stakeholders build a common understanding of forest governance needs and priorities
Forest governance in Sri Lanka
Rapid population growth has put great pressure on Sri Lanka’s land and forests. Between
1900 and 1992 the number of people per square kilometre grew from 54 to 269, while natural forest cover declined from 70% to just 24% of the land area. Although the rate of population growth has fallen in recent
years, widespread rural poverty and landlessness continue to put pressure on agricultural land, contributing to high levels of forest encroachment and conversion. The current rate of forest loss is estimated at 1.5% a year.
Effective governance of Sri Lanka’s remaining forests faces several key challenges.