The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) last week said it is now taking the environmental protection initiatives even further by developing a new project in the area of urban forestry.

According to a media release issued by its Director (Media and Publicity,) Dilip Samarasinghe the idea behind the move is to create a new forest cover for the country at the BOI’s twelve Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and also in the future zones which the government targeted to build in the years to come.
“The present government is committed to build 45 new zones in the country and the need to ensure forest cover is therefore essential,” the statement from the agency said.

A major environmental concern is the fact that Sri Lanka has lost much of her forest cover which represented 49% of the countries land area in the 1920s. By 2005 this forest cover had fallen by approximately 20%. On average Sri Lanka loses an estimated 26,800 hectares of forest per year.

“The Urban forestry tree program of the BOI therefore includes tree planting, protection and also in the longer term to look at the management of trees as a collective resource.

When the zones were built considerable de-forestation took place and with the industrialization oxygen was consumed faster and higher levels of Greenhouse gases were emitted. The carbon footprint and ecological footprint resulting coming industrialization was therefore affected.”

“However, BOI is also committed to the protection of the environment and views this as compatible with economic development. Ms. Sujani Pilapitiya Senior Deputy Director (Landscape) of the BOI underscored this policy,” the investment promotion agency noted.

“The world has realized that their actions have brought many adverse repercussions especially on the environmental front and are taking actions to mitigate or minimize such effects. Carbon budget and Carbon cycle re-balancing are terms that are globally discussed.”

At each of the BOI Zones a land area had been allocated to tree planting with the idea of creating a forest within the Zone. The project was started simultaneously at all BOI Export Processing Zone on 28th July 2015.

“By taking these proactive steps the BOI is creating a new image for industrial production which will be in harmony with the environment and will create an excellent environment climate for Foreign Direct Investment.”

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka as a leading agency in the industrial and economic development of the country has taken the lead in the protection of Sri Lanka’s environment. The BOI is committed to ensure that the country achieves economic development in order to create employment opportunities, inflows of FDI and technology transfers, for the betterment of the people of Sri Lanka.

BOI is the main investment promotion agency in the country and it has been involved in establishing Export Processing Zones (EPZ) from the year 1978.