Deforestation is a key environmental issue in Sri Lanka, which had about 50 per cent of forest cover in the 1920s, but now has only about 20 per cent. The country lost about 27,000 hectares of forests between 1990 and 2000. The situation had worsened during the following five years.

Deforestation takes place mainly for agricultural land, plantations and to provide fuel and timber. Land required for tea is substantial. Encroaching on forest reserves to build houses has become a significant factor in the reduction of forests.

Conservation of forests is primarily important for sustainable wood production and there are certain regulations for the protection of forests.

Effects of Deforestation

Over the last two decades, deforestation taking place mainly due to the increasing population has caused severe impacts on climate.

This calamity has left the world with less than half of its original forests. Population growth and density are clearly related to forest cover trends and there is no simple way to describe the situation. The relationship is as complex as the regional and cultural variations in human societies.

Also agriculturally based population density increases close to forested areas as local people and young migrant families clear land to provide more area for subsistence farming. The poorer the soil quality, the lower the agricultural production and more land is likely to be cleared.

Esteem’s Enhancing Solutions

Esteem Plantations has come up with solutions for these environment issues as well as the growing demand for wood by placing emphasis on Sandalwood and Mahogany in particular.

The Company today provides the general public with planting initiatives and the advantage of receiving advice and business counselling in terms of growing and managing Sandalwood and Mahogany trees.

Taking a scientific approach in maintaining and managing plantations, Esteem Plantations observes great potential in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector. Sandalwood is not an easy crop to plant. However, with Esteem Plantations’expertise, owners who obtain land can receive the Company backing from the very beginning.

Esteem Plantations is already engaged in Badulla, Balangoda, Matale, Kuruwita, Gatahetta, Ayagama, Kukuleganga, Matugama and Pelawatta providing all maintenance requirements.

Apart from Sandalwood and Mahogany, the company also specializes in various other types of trees, based on the clients’ requirements, land mass, geographical area, growth viability and a number of other factors. The company encourages the growth of Sandalwood in general as the country’s GDP can witness a huge boost through the forestry sector alone.

Esteem Plantations is confident that the market for Sandalwood is going to boom and notes that in India, the demand for Sandalwood is something close to 7,000 tons per year. The company also notes that a client can earn up to Rs. 400,000 from one tree during the harvest period.