Designing an optimum protected areas system for Sri Lanka's natural forests. Volume 1
Sri Lanka is a small but biologically diverse country that is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot of global importance for plants. Many plants and animals are endemic to the island, 26% in the case of flowering plants and from 45% to 76% for certain taxonomic groups of animals. Much of this diversity is found in the south-west wet zone which occupies one-third of the country. Closed canopy normal forest covers 24% of the country but it is least extensive in the wet zone where human population pressures are highest. The over-riding objective of this National Conservation Review (NCR) of remaining natural forest in Sri Lanka is to define a national system of conservation forests in which watersheds important for soil conservation and hydrology are protected, forest biodiversity is fully represented and cultural, economic and social needs are met.