I. ROLE OF TEA IN DEVELOPMENT IN SRI LANKA
[ I-A | I-B | I-C | I-D ]
D. Degree to which environmental issues are reflected in sector policy
[ D | D-1 | D-2 | D-3 | D-4 | D-5 | D-6 ]
3. Policy on agriculture, land use and forestry
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands established a National Policy Framework on Agriculture, Lands and Forestry. Under that policy framework, the objectives of the National Land-Use Policy are :
- To protect, conserve and ensure sustainable use of land resources;
- To conserve and maintain biodiversity;
- To maintain a high-quality environment;
- To enhance the productivity of limited land resources;
- To provide efficient services, create a good human habitat and make provisions for recreational and cultural activities.
In terms of the above objectives, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands made a number of relevant policy recommendations, including:
- Placing the highest priority on the conservation and enrichment of natural resources, and the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment. That includes the soil, water, forests and all forms of terrestrial and aquatic life;
- The adoption by the government of a policy that ensures the allocation of land for all forms of human use at present and in the future, primarily on the basis of the suitability of land for each identified type of use;
- Ensuring that land-use conversion is not be encouraged except on the basis of a land suitability evaluation;
- Imposing strict protection and conservation of all State land lying 1,500 metres above sea level and all areas comprising more than 60 per cent sloping land, and ensuring that such land is not be alienated for any purpose other than the enhancement of forest vegetation without resorting to clearing for replanting;
- Providing encouragement, incentives and other assistance to users of State and private land above 1,500 metres and land with slopes exceeding 60 per cent of the area to convert such land to agroforestry systems.
Land-use, soil conservation and related issues are governed under several Acts, all of which seek to achieve the same broad policy objective (see chapter IV).
The Land and Water Use Division of the Department of Agriculture, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, looks into issues related to the use of agricultural land. Conversion of uneconomic tea plantation land for other economic activities is monitored under existing policy guidelines and laws with a view to minimizing harmful environmental effects.