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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Highlights from Sri Jayewardenepura research symposium

The Island: 29/12/2007"

Research papers presented at the International Forestry Environment Symposium held recently organized by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, highlighted many new channels of economic development some of which are listed below.

Usually rubber plantations are used for extraction of latex; but it has high carbon trading potential. Based on estimated models, high carbon content such as 47MT was achieved from rubber trees at the age of 23 years, which yields carbon benefits of 77,000 per hectare. .

Heavea rubber can be used for reducing greenhouse effect in several ways. Naturally producing latex in Heavea rubber trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Due to the increasing number of seedlings to be planted per hectare, all the rubber growing countries can increase CO2 absorption. This would help to earn money for rubber growing countries under Kyoto protocol.

Rubber wood is used as firewood and chemically treated rubber wood can be used in furniture industry, reducing felling of forest tress. Rubber seed oil, after chemical modification is a proven replacement for diesel to be used for motor vehicles, reducing use of fossil fuels.

Japan Jabara a problematic aquatic weed in Sri Lanka has received scientific attention for Biological Control, as safe application of Herbicides is not possible. Scientists at University of Sri Jayewardenepura discovered that dry leaf powder of Gandapana trees could effectively be used for controlling the weed.

There is no specific drug or vaccine for the treatment or prevention from the dengue and chikunguina in the country. Therefore, controlling the vector is the best strategy for dengue control. A mosquito species scientifically named as Toxorhynchites splendens has been identified as a predator insect that can be used to control dengue and chikunguina mosquito larvae Aedes albopictus. This predator insect does not feed on blood and cannot act as vectors of the diseases.

A huge extent of forests in Sri Lanka has been fragmented and therefore animals have to live in the pereiphery and not inside the forests. The conditions inside a forest are different to the conditions on the edges of it. A remarkable disparity was discovered, in the abundance of the endemic and non-endemic small mammals between inside forests and forest edges. (VH)

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