Human-Elephant conflict: COPA urges for an agreement with the Civil Defense Force
The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) revealed Rs. 150 million has been provided to the Civil Defense Force for the year 2020 without any agreement to resolve the human-elephant conflict in the country.
It said that steps should be taken to set up an agreement for this purpose as soon as possible. It revealed that although the Civil Defense Force had carried out maintenance of an elephant fence, the lack of any agreement was a major shortcoming.
The issue was taken up at COPA this week where it was revealed that the highest number of elephant deaths in the world due to the human elephant conflict is annually reported in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, a specialist in human-elephant conflict, said Sri Lanka has been ranked second in reporting the highest number of human deaths due to human-elephant conflict in the world whilst India holds the first rank.
Even though the average number of elephant deaths due to human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka is 272 per year, 407 elephants have died during the past year, said Prof. Tissa Vitarana. It was also revealed that although the average number of human deaths due to human-elephant conflict is 85 per year, 122 people have died during the past year.
Prof. Vitarana and other members highlighted the need for the Wildlife Department and other relevant agencies to work together on a more efficient program to resolve the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka, which has now become a serious problem, during the meeting.