Endana Biodiversity Corridor
Following a careful selection processes, Dilmah’s Endana tea estate was chosen as an ideal location to establish a pilot scale biological corridor in the year 2014. The Endana Biodiversity Corridor, aims to enhance the biodiversity and conservation value of Dilmah’s land holdings, and Sri Lanka at large.
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.
To Celebrate Dilmah’s 30th anniversary in 2018 and cement Dilmah’s commitment to protecting the fragile ecosystems found in relation to the changing elevations of tea estates, Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando uprooted the first tea plant at Dilmah’s Endana tea garden to create a second 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.
- 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.
- A 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.
- A land use map of this second site will be developed for research purposes by the end of 2018
- A baseline survey was conducted to ascertain the soil profile and biodiversity of the region. The results will be published as part of the dissertation of two PhD students on September 5th 2018.
- Previously, in 2014, plant nurseries were set up to cultivate 1700 indigenous plants commonly found in wet zone forests to create 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.
- Uda Delwala Rural Organisation (UDRO)
- Forest Department of Sri Lanka