Home » ABST Home » APPLIED BIO-SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY – VOL. 1, NO. 1, (2021) » VOL. 1, NO. 1, (2021) : ARTICLE 4

VOL. 1, NO. 1, (2021) : ARTICLE 4

What Drives Deforestation? A Case of Deforestation Drivers in Sri Lanka

Manuri Gamage, Shashika Guruge, Menuka Udugama, Mohamed Iffam and Ishara Anjalee


Background: Sri Lanka has a striking variety of forest types brought about by spatial variations that can be simply classified as tropical rain forests. Forests account for removal of 17–25% of annual greenhouse gas emissions at the global level. State of deforestation in Sri Lanka is controversial in both scope and quantity. Therefore, understanding the drivers of deforestation is fundamental to the development of policies and measures that can incorporate to amend the current status of deforestation activities, toward more favourable environment-friendly outcome. Aim of this study is to assess the determinants of deforestation to better understand the patterns and intensity of deforestation in Sri Lanka, during the past three decades.

Methods: Data were acquired through two secondary sources; Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and Department of Census and Statistics for the period from 1990 to 2016. A structural model was used to approximate the causes of deforestation and burnt forest area.

Results: Results reveals that the forest area has been decreased from 1990 to 2010 and remains nearly at a steady level, which shows the success of national wide reforestation and afforestation programmes. Interestingly, income, agricultural gross domestic products, crop production, crop production area, poverty, population, literacy rate, agricultural labour force and agricultural land area showed significant impacts (at 95% confidence level) on the forest cover change, while none of the factors denote any significant impact towards burnt tropical forest cover.

Conclusions: Study reveals the factors that are significantly affect the forest cover change. Interestingly none of the factors had any significant impact towards burnt tropical forest cover and yet to be studied in future. Study provides clues of the success of some reforestation programmes which need to be studied further.

Keywords: Deforestation, Drivers of Deforestation, Structural Model, Tropical Forests