Restoration of degraded lands using sustainable agriculture/ land and soil conservation practices [Sri Lanka]

Reporting Entity: Sri Lanka

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights: Nee

Completeness: 77%

General Information

General Information

Title of best practice:

Restoration of degraded lands using sustainable agriculture/ land and soil conservation practices


Sri Lanka

Reporting Entity:

Sri Lanka

Property Rights

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights:



Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)

Short description of the best practice

The sixty farmers who had low educational level, limited infrastructure facilities and alternative employment oppertunities and who used to expolit land for economic gains had been converted to use sustainable agricultural practices using soil conservation measures.|


Badulla District in the Uva Province in Sri Lanka

Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.

Climatic condition variation  between twelve degrees centrigate to thirty two degrees centrigate
Red Yellow Podzolic
The area is 4000ft above sealevel. the area is located in a rugged, steap terrain and the area is in a watershed area|

Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby

Main income from potatoes and vegetables
These farmers are  encroaches of state land. In 2007 all encroaches living in this watershed area had been relocated but 25 families have returned to the same area.  Virtually these people do not have owenership  over the land and owned by state.
All in project area are farmers who grow potatoes and vegetables (seasonal cultivations)in degraded lands earning very low income.

On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?

The proposed practices is "best" due to,
1). The project has worked as a "change agent" converting those farmers used in
   erosive agriculture, to use  environment friendly agricultural practices
2). The practice has opened new avenues for the farmers like using compost and
   thereby reducing costs, herb cultivations added to theri food and increased
3). The herbs sold to tourist hotels earning substantial income,
4). Unity among the farmers developed having community leaders appointed,
5). The project can be considered as a "developed model" for small farmer   

Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice

Main problems addressed by the best practice

Main problem addressed;
1). Avoided further degradation of land
2). Avoided use of agro chemicals
3). Avoided silting of downstream reservoirs
4). Added income to their hands

Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice

1). Soil erosion issue
2). Further degradation due to erosive agriculture
3). Siltation of downstream reservoirs due to sediment loads due to runoff

Specify the objectives of the best practice

The objective was to mitigate soil erosion in the rugged steep terrain and restore the ecosystems

Section 3. Activities

Brief description of main activities, by objective

Establishment of mecahnical and biological soil conservation methods
Awareness creation
Introduce of agro-forestry and mixed cropping|Introduce organic fertilizer|Introduce herbal cultivation
Demarcation of reservation lands

Short description and technical specifications of the technology

Short description of technology:
Use of mechanical and biological soil conservation methods and use of suitable crop varities as per sustainable agricultural technologies were the main technological  interventions.
Technical specifications:
Establishment of stone bunds and live hedges are done as per the accepted technical prameters

Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)

Name and address of the institution developing the technology

Coordinator, Global Environment Facility/ Small Grant Programme|202-204, Bauddhaloka Mawatha
Colombo 07
Sri Lanka

Was the technology developed in partnership?


List the partners:

Farmers, Agriculture Extension Workers|

Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted

  • Local initiative

Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?


List local stakeholders involved:

Farmers of the locality

For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.

The farmers used their indigeneous knowledge in enriching the initiatives and  they were the implementors of the technology.

Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?


By means of what?
  • Participatory approaches


Section 5. Contribution to impact

Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)

Reduce sediment runoff will avoid siltation of downstream reservoirs and  river banks, reduce desiltation costs and increase water retention capacity |
The agricultural production specially due to organic farming will generate high income for farmers. It will uplift their standard of living.
The restoration activities will reestablish the prevaild ecosystem and this really ecosystems will provide ecosystem services.
The soil conservation measures will control runoff and  downstream areaswill not affected due to inundation and  sediment yields will be low.
The ecosystem will be re-established and will ensure continous supply of ecosystem services

Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts

Downstream dwellers will receive quality sediment free  water for drinking purposes
Occurance of floods will be reduced in the downstream since the stream flow is regulated due to terraces, bunds, live hedges and liter deposits.|
Sediment loads to nearby reservoirs  due to run off will be reduced.

Impact on biodiversity and climate change

Explain the reasons:

Sri Lanka is endowed with high biodiversity. specially up country region experiences high endemism. Once the ecosystem is reestablished it will provide shelter for wild fauna and flora. The endemacity in this area exceeds 50% in many plant and animal taxonomic groups.
In the faunal groups endemicity among the amphibian spp.is high as 83% and great many of them are restricted to  mountaneous region. Due to land fragmentation and clerance virgin forest for cultivations,  the endemic species of fauna and floraare  under severe threat of extinction. the restored land area will therefore,  support for the existances of  endemic faunal and floral species. |

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?


Section 6. Adoption and replicability

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?



In other areas of the hill country

Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?

Intorduce of appropriate technology had the project to success. The approach was farmer friendly.
The real owners of the project were farmers and they were the implementors. The ownership of the project was vested with he farmers and it led to success of the projects.
Awareness creation was successful and it was able to change mindsets of people.


In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?


At which level?
  • Sub-national

Section 7. Lessons learned

Related to human resources

Effects have been made to use the stakeholder participation effectively. It has led to success of this project. The approach had been farmer friendly and 20 community leaders have been chosen to monitor activities.

Related to technical aspects

The technical aspects relating to soil conservation measures and agricultural practices have been selected to suit the need of people and the environment. The selection of appropriate technology therefore has led the project to success. The herb varieties were grown up that serve the tourism industry generating sufficient income for the farmers.

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