• Kavishan Dissanayake

A chat with the Green Healers of Sri Lanka - The Forest Healing Foundation.

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

Today we have with us on the Retreeit Green Chat ,the passionate team of forest healers ,The Forest Healing Foundation.

What is this Forest Healing Foundation?

The Forest Healing Foundation is a grassroots forest conservation initiative located near Digana. Our vision is that “forests stay forest”. We work with local communities to conserve high biodiversity forests and restore degraded lands. As a team, we are hugely passionate about forests and their wildlife and are committed to growing our operations to help address the urgency of the current climate and biodiversity crises.

What made you start the initiative and where do you stand at the moment?

Our reforestation work actually started before the Foundation. A couple of friends and local business owners came together to purchase an area of degraded land that we now call Bululand and started restoring the forest. Three years on, over 500 trees have been planted and are starting to thrive so the Foundation was set up to expand our impact into more areas.We are really proud of our work so far. As well as the Bululand reforestation work, we have established projects such as a community shop, children’s educational resources, a partnership to plant produce trees with local farmers and we are currently fundraising to protect an area of nearby forest that has recently come under threat of deforestation.

What plans for the future?

Whilst we are still a relatively small organization, our current team motto is to “think big”. We know that the world is running out of time to make the big changes needed to address climate change and biodiversity decline, and we want to step up to play our part in this.We are aiming to complete an assessment of the wider region to identify the areas where reforestation can have the maximum benefit for local communities, watershed protection and

wildlife connectivity. By having a solid research base, we can ensure that we make the best use of available resources for restoration and can also hopefully apply for more funding.

How can interested parties get in touch with The Forest Healing Foundation?

There are loads of ways you can get in touch with us and we are always keen to hear from you! Check out our website or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We regularly post updates on what we are up to and photos of the wildlife we come across in the forest so be sure to give us a follow too.

What kind of support or engagement do you need from interested individuals?

There are three key areas where we are seeking support at the moment:

(i) Forest guardians – As part of our fundraising to protect the forest at risk, we have created a “Sponsor a Square Meter” programme where you can become a guardian of the forest by sponsoring its protection. Visit our project page here to get involved.

(ii) Environmental/social experts – We are looking to partner with local experts to complete our assessment of areas with reforestation potential. Please get in touch via our website if you are interested and able to help.

(iii) Enthusiastic volunteers – If you are located in the Digana/Kandy area and don’t mind getting a bit dirty, we often have work that needs doing on our forest restoration project and we would love your help! Please use the contact form on our website to get in touch.

If you have any more ideas of how you can help, we are of course always open to these too . just send us a message or give us a call. Connect with us on social media or visit our website www.foresthealingsrilanka.org for any assisiatnce.

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