Local News from Sri Lanka: In its recently published book, the Yala National Park was ranked number six among the greatest national parks in the world by the famous National Geographic, 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas by Joe Yogerst, Deputy Director of the Wildlife Conservation Department (Planning and ICT), Ranjan Marasinghe said. National Geographic’s’ 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas’ was released in February and its author, Joe Yogerst, lived and worked. Wrangell-St Elias National Park in Alaska, Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Australia’s Kakadu National Park, and Canada’s Jasper National Park are the top five national parks listed in this book by Yogerst.
“Yala National Park has a habit of running under the radar, but it is one of the most diversified national parks in the world. It is renowned mainly for wildlife, especially for leopards and elephants. But the park also has fabulous beaches, ancient rock temples that are still active worship areas, and a selection of lodges or camping for overnight stays. There are not many areas on the planet where you can enjoy morning safari driving and evening surfing, “Yogerst said in his book.
Marasinghe referred to Yogerst’s domestic park ranking while making the opening comments at Monday’s’ Wildlanka International Symposium 2019′ organized by the Wildlife Conservation Department at Waters Edge. Wildlife enthusiasts, scientists, and officials attended the two-day ‘ Innovation for Conservation ‘ symposium.
“Many admired the Sri Lankan delegation’s contribution to the CITES, of which I was proud to be a part. In order to facilitate the CITES information-permitting scheme, we submitted the suggested’ eCITES’ platform to be introduced next month. Even the U.S. delegation was concerned, “he said. He said the Wildlife Department was always eager to adopt technology in all parts of its job, adding that before many other organizations did, it embraced geo-informatics, remote sensing, and video technology for work. “Now we are also exploring fresh technology in the attempts to mitigate conflicts between humans and elephants,” he added.
“Our field officers are accused of not being present at several locations at the same moment and our senior officers are accused of not permitting property for other uses and at the same moment not protecting the reserves. People expect us to have the cake and eat it at the same moment, and we are quite used to that approach now, “he said. Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga, who participated in the case as the principal guest, congratulated the Sri Lankan delegation to the CITES meeting for their notable results. He added that the conservation of wildlife requires a science strategy as consecutive governments rely on it to increase tourism revenue.
Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi speaking at the Symposium said the Ministry hopes to enhance the infrastructure for those who are prepared to undertake research in national parks. “Parliament’s Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) stressed the significance during our last meeting of enabling more studies linked to this area. Taking this suggestion into account, we intend to create operations related to wildlife studies. To this end, we will enhance infrastructure in national parks to conduct research, gain practical understanding, and gather information, “he observed.