Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday if the ecosystem is protected, the country's water resources will become a major source of income for the country in the future.

The Cardinal said this when addressing Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who paid a courtesy call at his official residence yesterday to offer greetings to His Eminence for the upcoming Christmas season.

“Our country is being deforested on a large scale by now. It has to stop and the government should take necessary steps to formulate a programme to protect forests in accordance with the Constitution itself. Laws should be enacted to severely punish those who destroy the flora in this country. If the ecosystem of the country could be protected by doing so, our water resources would be in great demand, in future world water shortages” the Cardinal said.

Commenting on this, the Minister said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s programme is dedicated to rescue cities from being oxygen deficient and that environment friendly activities are included in the village-by-village development programme. Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena was also present on this occasion.