Monday, September 15, 2008

A survey on distribution of Kalu Wandura (Western Purple Faced Langur) in the Western Province and SBP work in South

ECO-V team conducted a survey to find out the distribution of WPFL and level of conflict in the community with WPFL. People who have been interviewed revealed the problems faced by them because of WPFL. However we felt the tolerance level of the community in the surveyed population is very high though WPFL has been hindrance to their cultivation and the dwellings. We also approached some of the religious places on the survey route. There is a common agreement in the community that the human beings have encroached the habitats of the WPFL and other wild animals.Therefore they accepted the concept of coexistence animals and human beings in the urban settings in the Western Province. This may be mainly due to the Buddhist culture and believes of the people in the society.

Dr. Rudy Rudran who started this project will be visiting Sri Lanka next week to evaluate the progress of the project and to plan the future activities. In the meantime the youth team ,we formed following the Waga exhibition is constantly monitoring the WPFL activities in their villages.

Harsha, the coordinator to the Pelican Conservation project is presently fully involved in the survey of the distribution of Pelicans in 3 districts, Monaragala, Hambantota and Ratnapura. The water level of the man made tanks has been reduced leading to internal migration of Pelicans in the above mentioned districts. Therefore this would be a good opportunity to get the estimation of Pelican population in the southern part of Sri Lanka. The friends of Pelican teams we formed before are involved with this survey with Harsha and Department of Wildlife is helping us to get information from the parks in the area.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

National Youth Service Council (NYSC) youth camp in Anuradhapura.

Honorable Minister of Environment Mr. Champika Ranawaka directed ECO-V to meet Director General of the NYSC to discuss the youth activities on environment.When Kanchana met Chairman/Director General to NYSC, Mr. Bhashwara Gunaratne, he requested her to get involved with their ongoing youth training programme called “Rata Dinawana Wishishtayo” as a resources person as there was no one to handle the proposed environmental component of the programme. We happily accepted the invitation as we felt we could do more with the experience we have conducting the ECO-V youth camps at the village level.

NYSC also requested to develop an environmental training module for their youth training programmes based on our experience. Kanchana traveled to Anuradhapura on the 9th of September to deliver a lecture to the first batch of 500 youth selected under the theme of Archeology and Youth. It was held at the garden of the Abhayagiriya Maha Viharaya reconstruction site. The lecture and discussion was focused mainly on Heritage and Environmental friendly lifestyle of our ancestors. All the youth participated enthusiastically in the discussion after 2 hour lecture and appreciated the insight given to them on the environment conservation by our ancestors.

ECO-V also conducted a survey in major supermarket outlets on implementation of the National environmental guidelines given by the Central Environmental Authority on Polythene usage. This survey was conducted voluntarily by ECO-V on a request made by the Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority, Mr. Udaya Gammanpila. It was very satisfying to know the situation of Polythene usage by the customers as ECO-V has been trying to advocate the same policies for last 7 years.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kaluwandura Exhibition at Waga, Hanwella.

The last planned activity of Kaluwandura Conservation Pilot project initiated by Dr. Rudy Rudran has come into end. The second exhibition for Kalu wandura Project was held on the 24th August 2008 at Sri Pemananda Dharma school in Waga,Hanwella.

ECO-V and Kaluwandura Conservation team visited the temple the day before the exhibition and started making the exhibits with the help of the youth team whom we met during the first presentation. Initially we met only 4 boys but now there are around 15 youngsters who ended up volunteering to our activities. Jaliya, Srinath, Sampath and Pethum are some of them who never said “no” to any work. We all were so pleased about their enthusiasm and they gave us more energy to work in the future.

The high priest at the temple was the mentor of this youth group and always helped us by encouraging and supplying food and tea during work.

The chief guest at the exhibition was the Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority who appreciated our effort in conservation of this fast vanishing species and promised the state support and patronage for the future .

Kanchana also participated in a work shop organized by the South Asian Youth Environmental Network (SAYEN). SAYEN is a network among all the SARRC countries and trying to achieve a common goal in their respective countries. ECO-V also agreed to become a member of SAYEN as we also can contribute to achieve these goals through our environmental programmes for youth groups. During this workshop we all contributed to make the strategic plan for coming 5years to achieve the objectives of SAYEN.

Kanchana met Mr. Udaya Gammanpila, the Chairman to central Environmental Authority for the second time in the past week. She went to meet him with the invitation of Mrs. Shyamani Periapperuma the assistant Director to the Post consumer Polythene project of Sri Lanka. She requested ECO-V to conduct a survey to evaluate the situation of the recent policy on Polythene career bags at Supermarkets. This survey was a high priority for the Chairman of CEA and he personally thanked ECO-V for agreeing to do this survey voluntarily.

Kanchana and Thushara became fully involved with the strategic planning of ECO-V during the week end. After finishing the main activities for Kalu Wandura Pilot project we wanted to have some timn for us to plan the future work which we have been postponing for past few months. We are fully determined to organize all the work before we shift into the new office of ECO-V at the beginning of October.