Endana Biodiversity Corridor

Endana Biodiversity Corridor

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.

Endana Biodiversity Corridor

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.

  • Objectives

    • Enhance the biodiversity/conservation value of Dilmah’s land holding.
    • Link protected areas with Dilmah land holdings using mechanisms such as corridors, mosaics, stepping stones.
    • Showcase participatory approaches to conserving nature and the sustainable use of natural resources.
    • Demonstrate the benefits of connectivity conservation to local communities and small holding tea growers.
    • Promote good practice within the tea industry sector and share lessons learned more widely in the region and globally such as restorative home gardening initiatives towards mitigating landslides which frequently affect the area.
  • Progress

      • In 2014, plant nurseries were set up to cultivate 1700 indigenous plants commonly found in wet zone forests for the first nature corridor at the Endana Tea Estate. The trees selected for this project included ikumbuk, mee, karanda, pelen, hora, naa imbul, beraliya dun, diya, naa and kithul.
      • Special compostable bags made of biodegradable raw materials were introduced which could be directly planted with the sapling. These eco-friendly bags would later degrade into compost enriching the soil with carbon thus contributing to soil fertility and the retention of water.
    Endana Biodiversity CorridorEndana Biodiversity Corridor
    • The second nature corridor at Endana was initiated on 1st January 2018, to link the Delwala Kanda and Walankanda Forest Reserves by Dilmah Founder, Merril J Fernando with support from the Forest Department of Sri Lanka, under the supervision of specialists Prof. Nimal Gunatilleke and Prof. Savithri Gunatilleke.
    Endana Biodiversity Corridor Endana Biodiversity Corridor Endana Biodiversity Corridor Endana Biodiversity Corridor Endana Biodiversity Corridor Endana Biodiversity Corridor
  • Partners

    • Uda Delwala Rural Organisation (UDRO)
    • Forest Department of Sri Lanka