Deal #3858

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Administrative region
Location
Beragala, Sri Lanka

Target country
Sri Lanka
Comment on location
Village: Dadayampahalagama

Land area

Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[2012] 254
Comment on land area
The project has already obtained preliminary approval from the Board of Investment (BoI) of Sri Lanka and the Tourist Board and is awaiting the approval of the Central Environment Authority (CEA).

Intention of investment

Intention of investment
Tourism
Comment on intention of investment
Golf course, hotel, retirement community, hospital, theme park

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Outright Purchase

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
Concluded (Contract signed)

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2012] Startup phase (no production)
Comment on implementation status
In 2012 there was no clearing authority given - nevertheless clearance of strips of land, mapping and building of access roads had been started.

Number of domestic jobs created

Jobs created (domestic)
Yes
Planned number of jobs (domestic)
3500
Comment on jobs created (domestic)
"The project opens up employment opportunities for 3,500 locals and training of staff will commence once the project commences its activities" (http://www.ceylontoday.lk/22-1887-news-detail-hidden-valley-awaits-green-light.html )

Operating company

Name of investment project
Hidden Valley Resort
Comment on investment chain
project is also called "Eco Golf Resort", "Bergala Golf Resort", "Beragala Eco-Friendly Golf Resort"

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Publication title
Uprooting People from the Land: Land Grabbing Current Status and Trends in Sri Lanka
Date
2012-06-01
Comment on data source
Case studies of land grabbing in Sri Lanka

Data source #2

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2012-01-23

Data source #3

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Sri Lanka A Future Golf Destination?
Date
2006-11-06
Comment on data source
Report on upcoming golf projects in Sri Lanka

Data source #4

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-03-08
Comment on data source
Report on Sri Lanka's effort to boos tourism through golf projects.

Data source #5

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
File
Date
2015-04-07
Comment on data source
Project details of Eco Golf Resort Project

Data source #6

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Publication title
Land Grabbing in Sri Lanka: Current Status and Trends
Date
2016-01-01
Comment on data source
Case studies of land grabbing cases in Sri Lanka

Data source #7

Data source type
Media report
Publication title
Illegal Soragune Hotel Project Threatens Man And Nature
Date
2012-11-07
Comment on data source
Report on impact of the project to local communities and environment

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Rejection
Comment on community reaction
Presence of street protests and visible mobilization against the project

Displacement of people

Comment on displacement of people
it is feared the project will lead to the displacement of the farmers using water from the Irrigation Project that is currently operating from the area

Negative impacts for local communities

Negative impacts for local communities
Environmental degradation
Comment on negative impacts for local communities
From https://ejatlas.org/print/eco-golf-resort-project-in-soragune-forest 1. There are over 7,000 trees that have been marked to be cut down 2. The land marked for the hotel project blocks the elephant corridor between the Uda Walawa National Park and Bogahapittiya sanctuary. If the project proceeds, the elephants would be forced to enter villages resulting in a massive human-elephant conflict. 3. It is prime forest territory, with savannah grasslands inhabited by elephant, bear, sambhur, and other animals. Precious tropical deciduous forestland in Bogahapattiya is threatened by developers. If the golf course project go through, Sri Lanka will lose considerable area of an extremely biodiverse forest. 4. Loss of vegetation caused by deforestation leads to soil erosion and run-off. The silted water ends up in the Weli Oya reservoir, which irrigates more than 3,000 acres of paddy land and feeds 27 small tanks. 5. The forest feeds two streams that enter the Weli Oya, which in turn feeds into the Walawe. After implementing the project these streams will dry off, creating a huge water problem in the area. The entire area is a hugely important watershed for populations downstream. The land selected for the golf course comes right up to where the two streams, including the Demata Ara, join up with the Weli Oya at a small dam. Construction work on the intended golf course will disrupt the Weli Oya irrigation system. Thousands of families depend on agriculture based on the waters of the Weli Oya. 6. In order to maintain the golf course in good condition, water and the fertilizer urea as well as pesticides should be used in large quantities. Aluminum compounds should be applied to the field in order to enhance binding of soil particles and prevent soil erosion. These chemicals will finally accumulate in the tanks irrigated by the Weli Oya Irrigation Project. That will be harmful to existing faunal and floral diversity. 7. An extensive study has been carried out on the vertebrate diversity of the Bogahapattiya-Soragune-Samanala Wewa Forest Area by Mr. L.J. Mendis Wickramasinghe of the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka. The unpublished report, ‘A Vertebrate Faunal Survey of Samanala Wewa, Towards Declaration as a Wildlife National Park’ identifies around 390 species from 5 vertebrate families. Out of that, 59 are endemic to Sri Lanka. Around 40% of the total number of vertebrate species and 19% of the endemic vertebrate species in the country are found in the area, according to the report. A number of extremely rare species and also several new species have been recorded from the forest.

Promised or received compensation

Promised compensation (e.g. for damages or resettlements)
promised: infrastructure and income opportunities

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
Community
Other
Comment on former land owner
"in the custody of the Soragune Temple (Devala)" (www.srilankanaturegroup.org/images/land_grabbing/landgrabbinginSri%20LankaEnglish.pdf )

Former land use

Former land use
Forestry
Conservation
Other
Comment on former land use
Lies in the Bogahapattiya-Samanala Wewa Proposed Sanctuary, and is also a main catchment area of the Weli Oya Irrigation Scheme, an important dwelling place of the elephants of the Udawalawa National Park

Former land cover

Former land cover
Forest land
Shrub land/Grassland (Rangeland)

Water extraction envisaged

Water extraction envisaged
Yes

Source of water extraction

Source of water extraction
Surface water (River)

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July 5, 2013, 12:14 p.m.

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