Proposed Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy at Kantale : Prince Edward to spearhead forest conservation | Sunday Observer

Proposed Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy at Kantale : Prince Edward to spearhead forest conservation

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and the Countess during their visit to attend Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day celebrations, are expected to inspect a proposed Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) at the Kantale forest reserve.

The QCC is a project designed to create a network of forest conservation initiatives throughout the 52 Commonwealth nations. It was launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, in 2015 and Sri Lanka is one of the countries which has committed to the project.

Forest Conservator General Anura Hathurusinghe said the Environment Ministry has declared a re-forestation patch of 10 hectares (25 acres) for the project and the patch has been planted with 17 native species including Palu, Mee, Kumbuk, Tamarind and Maadan. The project is committed to raising awareness within the Commonwealth of the value of indigenous forests and to saving them for future generations.

The Forest Conservator General said, “We have made this replanting as a natural regeneration forest patch that will not be used for felling trees for future timber needs, in keeping with the QCC criteria.”

The proposed QCC is 15 km off Trincomalee and is on either side of the Anuradhapura-Trincomalee road at Morawewa bordering Kantale and the Panamparichchan forest reserves. The British High Commission in Colombo said Prince Edward is visiting Sri Lanka as the representative of the Queen who is the Head of the Commonwealth.

They will be touring Sri Lanka from January 31 to February 4. The royal couple is expected to visit Dalada Maligawa and plant a tree at Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya. They will also travel to Nuwara Eliya to meet with differently-abled children and their parents as well as the Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts to see a number of projects, advancing causes, the British Royal family is supporting.

A Foreign Ministry official said the government has also invited representation from the Royal Families in Japan and Thailand as well as the political leadership in India and China to grace the Independence Day celebrations on February 4.