Conservation of water and natural resources is of far more importance than infrastructure development such as road development in the present context, said Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.
People in some African Continent countries have to abandon their countries due to lack of water and end up in conflicts in other countries. Sri Lanka being an island, people have nowhere to go but to protect the natural resources, he said at a ceremony held yesterday at the Central Environment Authority in Battaramulla.
Ranawaka who had just returned after a climate change workshop in New York, said climate change had affected all nations and in the United States at night bears were entering the Washington D.C. looking for garbage.
`And now there is a special task force to capture bears in the Washington D.C.,` he added.
Likewise, he said that in Sri Lanka too climate change would be a major problem, especially during the dry weather when 7,000 elephants in the jungles start entering villages, human-elephant conflicts too would increase.
Ranawaka said through the Haritha Lanka Programme steps were taken to protect the mountain areas of the country. `If these areas were affected especially when considered that all 103 rivers start from the mountain regions.`
He said that cabinet approval had been sought for a forestation in 150 hectares through the Givithru Programme in the mountain region.
He also said that under the Givithru Programme plans are afoot to conserve 2500 hectares in the mountain region.