THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOREST PLANTATIONS (TEAK) IN SRI LANKA IN ACTING AS A CARBON SINK TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES IN THE ATMOSPHERE
Global warming is one of the major environmental issues on earth caused by theanthropogenic activities. This is brought about by the greenhouse effect due toaccumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Carbon dioxide(C02) is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect.
This research project was carried out with two objective viz. to quantify theamount of carbon stored in the teak tTectona grandis) plantations in Sri Lankaand to quantify the amount of carbon sequestered in different ages of theplantation.
The quantification of the carbon stored in the current standing teak plantations inSri Lanka is based on the Forest Department Inventory Database - TheFORDA TA. The data were acquired as a sub block mean and were calculatedusing standard formulae to quantify the divisional value and the country value.Only the merchantable volume of the bole wood had been considered in thisstudy, since that is the portion, which lasts for a long time without releasing itscarbon storage to the atmosphere. The data obtained from the FORDAT Adatabase was field verified in three (3) major teak growing forest divisions in thecountry, namely Kurunegala, Puttalam and Anuradhapura.
The amount of carbon dioxide trapped in the state owned teak plantations in SriLanka, currently without being emitted to the atmosphere for a long time is608,62 Gt C and the mean carbon storage of teak plantations (rotation length wastaken as 50 years)is 133.66 tC/ha
When the carbon sequestration was calculated by the mean carbon storage indifferent age classes the results obtained were: age class 1 to 10 years = 1.1tC/ha/yr, age class 11 to 20 years = 64.7 tC/ha/yr, age class 21 to 30 years e 322.2tC/ha/yr, age class 31 to 40 years= 466.4 tC/ha/yr, age class 41 to 50 yeras :: 52.2tC/ha/yr.
According to the data obtained the current storage of carbon in the state ownedteak plantations is 1.66 x 105 kt and the teak trees sequester carbon in the growingages 0 years to 49 years.
In conclusion, teak plantations up to 49 years can be effectively used as sinks forcarbon storage