Destruction of Blood Ivory
FEO was a primary behind the scenes driver on lobbying to get the blood ivory seized in 2012 to be publicly burnt on the 26th of January 2016. FEO engaged with the private sector, Ministry officials (Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Ministry of Finance), Sri Lanka Customs, and the Prime Ministers office in order to ensure the ivory was destructed. FEO’s “Sri Lankan Elephant 2016” was displayed at the destruction of the Blood Ivory at the Galle Face Green.
Date commenced – January 2013
Date completed – 26th January 2016
Campaign Timeline: Available here
- Ceylon Today (http://ceylontoday.lk/64-88580-news-detail-all-for-the-sake-of-ivory.html)
- Sunday Times (http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130217/news/blood-ivory-is-not-for-showcasing-33499.html)
- Letter to the Hon.President of Sri Lanka (http://www.ft.lk/2013/01/23/open-appeal-to-the-president-to-help-prevent-cruel-slaughter-of-elephants-and-defilement-of-buddhism/)
- The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/26/sri-lanka-destroys-illegal-ivory-haul)
Mini-Hydros and Energy Policy
FEO is working with member organizations, activists, and partner organizations on advocacy campaigns related to destructive mini-hydro’s in environmentally sensitive areas. To date, FEO has provided funding toward the legal initiative taken on a mini-hydro in the Peak Wilderness Strict Natural Reserve by the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), supported 3 member organizations to build cases against two hydro projects within the Sinharaja buffer zone, and coordinated with partners to end plans to build a mini-hydro in Balangoda.
FEO is now focusing efforts on coordinating an expert team to advocate on a more sustainable energy policy for Sri Lanka. As a first step in this campaign FEO Coordinator Operations was compere for the “Policy Dialogue on the Implications and Community Concerns Resulting from the Approval Process for Mini Hydro Power Plants”, a forum brought together by EFL.
Protected Areas Management
Continuing with efforts on ensuring better management of protected areas in Sri Lanka, FEO is involved in different forums to advocate and ensure due processes are followed in protected area management. In this regard, FEO is a part of the World Bank consultative group on its ESCAMP project that is due to be launched this month (March, 2016). It is hoped that the National Park Management plans that are to be updated as a part of this project can be used to prepare the legal framework for better Protected Area management including visitor management. FEO is also in discussion with the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to prepare the necessary legal framework to do so with the help of senior lawyers and experts. FEO is also supporting the maintain discipline in the park by monitoring violations of rules with DWC officials and partner organizations.
FEO supported the Center For Environmental Justice (CEJ, http://www.ejustice.lk) program “Sri Lanka Forest Watch” to raise awareness on deforestation and support citizen reporting on the same by distributing contact information for this program through the Sri Lanka Elephant Exhibition (Link to Programs Page). See www.srilankaforestwatch.lk for more information.
FEO was invited to be a part of the consultative planning meeting on environmentally sensitive area management program implemented by the Ministry of Environment on the 28th of January 2016.
FEO was invited to be a part of the consultative planning meeting on National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan implemented by the Biodiversity Secretariat on the 15th of February 2016.
Stopping the use of destructive fishing methods
The use of bottom set nets, ‘laila’ nets and bottom trawling has become a common practice in Sri Lankan waters, leading to a decline in our marine resources.
Approached by long-term independent researcher Dr. Steve Creech, the FEO in collaboration with the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL) designed a campaign to stop the use of destructive fishing methods in Sri Lanka. This two pronged campaign looked at education and awareness as well as the implementation of existing laws.
The FEO attended a series of workshops in order to receive a small grant from Internews and under the guidance of Dr. Creech designed a comprehensive campaign. The campaign has not yet been implemented due to a lack of funding, but the FEO and EFL continue to collaborate with Dr. Creech and assist him in any ways possible.
FEO was invited to be a participant in the Kelani River Basin monitoring group. This is a grassroots based campaign led by the Center for Environmental Justice that is working to protect the Kelani River Basin from all types of pollution.
FEO was a catalyst in ensuring public and government action was taken with regard to the August 17th oil spill in the Kelani river.
Comments for the Arrawakkalu Solid Waste Management project EIA was prepared after consultation with a SWM expert and circulated for public use and participation in the process. A total of 147 responses were received by the Central Environment Authority for this EIA. FEO is currently monitoring plans for this project and is working to ensure that the National Solid Waste Management plan is implemented instead of short-term projects such as the aforementioned.
FEO is working with a private sector, non-governmental, and citizen initiated group to oppose plans for establishing coal power plants in Sri Lanka.
Human Elephant Conflict
FEO is working with a small group initiated at the Megapolis Planning Project office (under the direction of the Prime Minister) to address human-elephant conflict. FEO is currently focusing on facilitating the implementation of the Managed Elephant Reserve (MER) planned in the Southern Province under the guidance of Dr.Prithiviraj Fernando. The Urban Development Authority led declaration of the MER is in the process of being drafted with the inclusion of all relevant Government Authorities and Departments.
Meeting Minutes and Dcouments
Publicly available meeting minutes and documents can be accessed from the links below.
- Sampur Coal Power Plant EIA part 1
- Sampur Coal Power Plant EIA part 2
- Arawakkalu Solid Waste Project EIA