- Residents of the rural Sri Lankan village of Pitekele relied on the nearby rainforest as a source of food, fuel, fiber and medicine for generations, until it was made into a park.
- The forest’s new conservation status and rules for accessing traditional products caused traditional “home garden” agroforestry plots to replace the forest’s role in villagers’ incomes and food procurement strategies.
- These unusually diverse agroforestry systems have reduced the pressure on native primary rainforest and serve to provide habitat, forest cover, biodiversity and food security within the buffer zone, where land is otherwise increasingly being used for tea cultivation.
- Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot, and its home gardens are very diverse too: Pitekele’s home gardens support a richness of 219 species in 181 genera and 73 families.
PITEKELE, Sri Lanka — Visitors to the Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka’s largest remaining primary rainforest, could easily miss the fact that adjoining the forest’s entrance is the old and thriving community of Pitekele.
Read more from source: Agroforestry bolsters biodiversity and villages in Sri Lanka