Hauts plateaux du centre de Sri Lanka - Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

IUCN category
Not Applicable
Designation type
World Heritage Site (natural or mixed)
Surface area
550.12 km²
Governing type
Federal or national ministry or agency
Management authority
Forest Department/Department of Wildlife Conservation

The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka were inscribed onto the World Heritage List in 2010 in recognition of the site’s values within one of the world’s richest concentrations of biodiversity. The site conserves the largest remaining stands of sub-montane and montane rainforest in Sri Lanka and protects the habitat of an assemblage of associated species displaying extraordinary levels of endemism, many of which are site endemic. The property is home to several endangered flagship species such as the Purple-Faced Langur of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Leopard. The maintenance of the values is dependent on the continued efforts to address issues of concern and putting in place the necessary staffing and funding to guarantee implementation of planned conservation actions. Recent completion of a management planning framework for the site is welcome. However, inadequate staff capacity and funding are limiting the effective operation of the new management plans.
One of the key current threats relates to an increasing number of invasive alien species. Tourism related impacts, such as waste, pollution, disturbance and traffic, also appear to be among the most significant threats to the site. The management authorities will need to implement an effective management and monitoring framework for tourism and adapt management accordingly to address this issue. Conversion of wetlands to agricultural plots, gem-mining, snare-trapping of Leopards, illegal collection of plants and animals for trade and forest encroachment are other threats on the increase. There remains a need for clearer demarcation of the property boundaries and improved law enforcement to effectively prevent these illegal activities.