Human – Wild Elephant conflict, the most crucial issue not even identified – Members of GOV-SL, it is time to match the words with deeds.
In year 2015, with the new Government’s manifesto promising a solution to the human elephant conflict, new Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera assuming the duties as minister of wild life stated that he will treat implement a solution to control elephant- human conflict as a priority level task, however the conflict remain the same and Sri Lanka’s human-elephant conflict is becoming a much more worse than year 2015. Many blame Wildlife Officers for not providing a viable solution to the problem. However, the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) alone cannot provide a solution. Government of Sri Lanka should have proper plan to combat with this sensitive matter. Lunugamwehera, Tissamaharama, Ambalantota, Hambantota, and Suriyawewa Divisional Secretaries are highly affected from this issue currently.
Building electric fences along the forest and the villages to keep off elephants from humans would not be a proper solution for the conflict. Electric fences have been the traditional solution to the problem, but other alternatives have been used such as beehives, palmyrah fences and spiky lime to keep elephants away from human settlements and crops.
Unfortunately government of Sri Lanka has no proper mechanism to control this conflict that both people & wildlife in the region are suffering. Many see this as comprehensive enough to provide sound suggestions with a scientific base to address the HEC and elephant conservation. However, this remains only a document, as it was not implemented. So government of Sri Lanka should need to work with proper plan immediately and control this matter without take any further time.
There were many incidents reported in the media even in the recent past claiming that many lives were in danger as the elephants enter the villages and as the villagers prevent them from entering.
According to environmentalists, approximately 160 elephants and humans every year lose their lives as a result of human-elephant conflict. The wild life conflict is termed human-elephant issue and not human-wild life issue.
Also our news team discovered that, Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa posted an interactive documentary on his official twitter account and YouTube channel to highlight this sensitive subject matter and catch the attention of relevant authorities including government of Sri Lanka and it’s line ministers those who responsible for implement long term national policy to control human-wild elephant conflict.
— Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) June 30, 2017
Our President and line ministers have been addressing the school children on environmental issues, now is the time to match the words with deeds. Over to you, Mr. President and fellow ministers.
Also Sri Lanka Live invite you to share your opinions about Human-Wild Elephant on our opinion segment. We make your voice heard.