4:21pm on Tuesday 31st October 2023
Under the guidance of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa together with the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya and Central Environment Authority instigated the eight wave of seed bombing at Labugasdamana Government Forest Reservation in Anuradhapura on 30 and 31 October 2023.

Under the close supervision of Commanding Officer SLAF Agro Unit, Group Captain HBD Samarathunga and the Department of Forest Conservation organized this mission to achieve the aim of improving the forest density of Sri Lanka to reach the sustainable development goals of the country by increasing the forest cover from 27% to 32% by the year 2030.

The first wave of the mission was executed at the Ranorawa government forest in a five-acre land area and approximately 5,000 seed bombs were released. During the second wave, 67,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60-acre area inside the forest of Lahugala in Ampara. The third wave which was conducted in December 2020 saw the dropping of approximately 30,000 seed bombs over 25 acres of land area within the Lahugala National Park. The fourth wave was carried out in the Lahugala National Park where 70,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60-acre area. The fifth wave was carried out in the Kebilitta Government Forest Reserve where 80,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 75-acre area. Through the sixth wave, 65,000 seed bombs were dropped over 70 acres of area inside the same forestry at Siyambalanduwa Divisional Secretariat. The seventh wave dropped 100,000 seed bombs around the 80 acres in Wattegama Kebilitta.
The seed bombs comprised native trees such as Kon (Schleicher oleosa), Kohomba (Azadirachta indica), Maila (Bauhinia racemose), Ma Dan (Syzygium cumini), Siyambala (Tamarindus indica), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Palu (Manilkara hexandra), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Kayaa (Swietenia macrophylla), Bulu (Terminalia belerica), Kithul (Caryota urens), Munamal (Mimusops elengi), Karanda     (Millettia pinnata) and Ketakala (Bridilia retusa).

The total land area covered by this mission was approximately 50 acres where 80,000 seed bombs were dropped and this mission was planned to coincide with the monsoon rain season as well to maximize its effectiveness.

SLAF Base Anuradhapura was utilized as the staging base for this mission as it was 13 Nautical miles from the selected area. The MI - 17 Helicopter which was utilized for this mission was captained by Flight Lieutenant AND Gunasinghe while the Co-Pilot was Squadron Leader WNCA Wijesuriya.



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