On the 30th anniversary of Dilmah, the Founder Merrill J Fernando will uproot the first tea plant at Dilmah’s Endana tea garden to create a nature corridor linking the Delwala Kanda and Walankanda Forest Reserves. The initiative is expected to connect a 3 km long gap between the two forests which had been separated by tea plantations and human settlements for the past 100 years.
Natural ecosystems are integral components of the agricultural and rural countryside. Carbon capture, crop pollination, pest control, biodiversity, and soil and water conservation are just a few of the many services provided by natural ecosystems on estates. Thus, emphasis on protecting natural ecosystems and conducting activities to restore degraded ecosystems becomes critically important to ensuring healthy agricultural systems and the sustained prosperity of tea production.
Biological corridors, or linkages connecting habitats and landscapes fragmented by human activity, are geared to protect and improve the habitats of both flora and fauna and facilitate the movement of species, especially those that are constantly under threat or endemic to Sri Lanka. Following a careful selection process, Dilmah’s Endana tea estate was chosen to establish a pilot scale biological corridor. The Endana Biodiversity Corridor, centered around concepts of connectivity conservation, aims to support the setting up of biological corridors and related landscape management within the estates from which Dilmah Tea is sourced. Given the unique, fragile ecosystems found in relation to the changing elevations of tea estates, this scheme seeks to foster patchy secondary forest areas towards securing habitats and enhancing the biodiversity and conservation value of Dilmah’s land holdings, and Sri Lanka at large.