Asia

Maragala Mountain Range Environmental Protection Area

The northern slope of the Maragala Mountain ridge

Project title: Management plan for the Maragala Mountain Range Environmental Protection Area

Location: Moneragala, Uva Province, Sri Lanka

Duration: 2014

Project Background: Maragala Mountain, the highest summit in Monaragala district is rich with biodiversity. “Maragalakanda” also known as the Peacock Hill is an isolated mountain home to several endemic fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species.

This mountain range faces pressures such as illegal logging and chena cultivation (slash and burn agriculture) which stem largely from socio-economic issues.

The assessment of environmentally sensitive areas is a major role of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). Therefore, in collaboration with IUCN Sri Lanka, CEA initiated the development of a management plan to assess and identify the significance of Maragala EPA.

As a result of the project, Maragala EPA was identified as a site that can be used to generate employment opportunities through nature-based activities. Enhanced understanding of the potential options and eco-employment may reduce the pressure causedby illegal and poor land use practices on this important biodiversity hotspot.

Objectives of the project:

  • Asses the biodiversity and socio-economic interactions in the EPA
  • Produce a comprehensive Management Plan for the Maragala Mountain Range EPA

Outputs:

  • Species inventory including endemic and threatened species produced
  • Species distribution and sensitive area zoning identified
  • Maps depicting biodiversity (ecosystems, species) and physical attributes (soil, hydrology etc) produced
  • Status of geology, hydrology and socioeconomic information of local communities identified
  • Recommendations and identified actions provided
  • Management plan developed

Donor: Central Environmental Authority (CEA)

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