US food giant Dole has abandoned its banana plantation in Sri Lanka's Somawathiya National Park after threat of a lawsuit, reports Mongabay.com.
Dole had linked up with local company Letsgrow Ltd to grow bananas for export markets on the bank of the Mahaweli River before local conservation group Environment Foundation Limited (EFL) collected evidence to show they were illegally destroying the habitats of elephants and many other endangered species inside the national park boundaries, the website said.
"Dole Lanka has ceased all commercial operations on this portion of land and is vacating it," Dole is quoted as saying. "The Department of Wildlife Conservation has been requested to visit the area for their confirmation."
EFL announced it was pleased with the outcome. "We are extremely pleased with the turn of events and the prompt manner in which Dole has acted in this instance, which we trust will serve as an example to other organisations that are presented with evidence of infringements in law governing public assets," the group is quoted as saying.
Dole had previously denied allegations of destroying park land, the report said.