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Human-monkey conflicts reached crisis proportions in Sri Lanka over the last 10 years due to extensive deforestation to promote rapid economic growth and agricultural expansion.Â This resulted in complaints from the public with demands for Sri Lankaâ€™s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to solve the problem without delay.Â Caught between political pressure and public outcry, the DWCâ€™s efforts to deal with the crisis gradually fell into disarray.Â To overcome this, the SPEARS Foundation--, offered to help the DWC to develop a strategic plan to deal with human-monkey conflicts.Â This plan was developed through a series of workshops and submitted to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife in March 2016 for approval.Â During and after the development of the strategy, some of its key elements were implemented by the SPEARS Foundation.Â One of these elements was documenting details of human-monkey conflict from letters of complaint received by DWC.Â This information was used to initiate a series of field surveys to identify sites suitable for long-term protection of monkeys and other wildlife.Â When these areas are identified they would be designated as community conservation areas (CCAs), and managed by local stakeholders on a sustainable basis under the supervision of DWC.Â Establishing CCAs is a new paradigm for Sri Lanka to conserve wildlife while benefitting local communities.Â Its details were presented in the strategic plan submitted to the government.Â In this paper, we present the information obtained from the letters of complaint received by DWC and discuss its details.Â In subsequent reports, we will discuss the results of our field surveys to identify areas suitable for the establishment of CCAs.Â
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