The Forest Department, Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP) with the collaboration of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is implementing a two year program aiming to address the current shortage of trained forest landscape restoration practitioners in the country. Under this capacity development program, it is expecting to train 300 senior level and middle level officers attached to all kea departments, ministries and other institutions in the island. ESCAMP is providing technical support for this training programme, which includes high-level and mid-level government participants from relevant institutions including the Forest Department. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-Sri Lanka) provided logistical support to ESCAMP.
Thus far, basic training on FLR has been completed by means of two virtual workshops attended by local experts and IUFRO experts. The mentorship programme will be implemented as hands-on mentoring activity on-site in selected locations in Sri Lanka. These locations are part of the landscape management plan established by the ESCAMP Project in the HKK landscape and focus on the following thematic areas:
- Restoring degraded land (in the Singhagama village area) for home garden development, agroforestry, timber farms, woodlots, roadside planting etc.
- Restoring natural wildlife habitats by removal of invasive species, grassland establishment and water supply facilities in Hurulu Eco park
- Improve ecotourism facilities in Hurulu Eco park and adjacent areas
- Awareness creation on proper land use and private land restoration for enhancing ecosystem services.
As part of the mentorship programme FLR mentees will record and document the consultative process with local communities, carry out assessments of the outset situation (status of land degradation) and monitoring of restoration activities and short-term impacts.