Sri Lankan Elephant 2016 : 21/1/2016 – 6/3/2016
Organized by the FEO in collaboration with the Center for Conservation and Research (CCR), the “Sri Lankan Elephant 2016” was a trilingual pictorial awareness and education exhibition that aimed to educate the public of Sri Lanka on the current status of Sri Lankan elephants. Displayed in public spaces in city centers, many of which were epicenters of the Human – Elephant Conflict, this exhibition spent nearly 50 days traveling the Island, stopping off at 13 different cities and educating nearly 125,000 persons.
The “Sri Lankan Elephant 2016” visited the following cities and were displayed at the following locations.
- Independence Square, Colombo
- Kandy City Center, Kandy
- Public Market, Habarana
- Adjacent to Public Library, Polonnaruwa
- Adjacent to Post Office, Dehiathakandiya
- Public Market, Mahiyanganaya
- Public Bus Stand, Bibile
- Public Bus Stand, Ampara
- Public Bus Stand, Monaragala
- Public Grounds, Wellawaya
- Old Market Building, Buttala
- Public Market, Tissamaharama
- Old Bus Stand, Hambantota
After its successful journey around the Island the “Sri Lankan Elephant 2016” is currently being displayed at schools in Colombo as well as several universities around the Island. Due to its unique form of presentation and content on display, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife requested that the exhibition be displayed at the Blood Ivory Destruction ceremony that was held on the 26th of January 2016 at the Galle Face Green.
Sponsorship for the “Sri Lankan Elephant 2016” was provided by Colombo Jewellery Store, John Keells Foundation and the Born Free Foundation, while MTV-MBC network was the Media Sponsor. The design of the panels was done by the Saskia Fernando Gallery and Ruby Studios, with TBWA creating all of the promotional material for print and social media. Award winning author Ms. Ameena Hussein was responsible for crafting the narrative, that conveyed the elephants story from their perspective. The invitations for the opening ceremony held on the 21st of January were provided by ecoMAXIMUS.
Date Commenced – 21st of January 2016
Date Completed – 6th March 2016
Go Outdoors Colombo Bird Race 2016 : 20/3/2016
Organized by the FEO in collaboration with the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL,www.fogsl.net), the “Go Outdoors Colombo Bird Race” was held on Sunday the 20th of March 2016. The main aim of this event was to educate the public of Colombo on the importance of protecting our urban wetlands and to promote the practice or urban bird watching in these wetlands.
Utilizing the three urban wetland sites of Thalangama Lake, Urban Wetland Park, Nugegoda (Weli Park) and the Beddegana Wetland Park, contestants were allocated three hours to identify as many bird species as possible. In its second year, the Colombo Bird Race was very well represented with 11 teams competing across two categories, with the professional category winners WNPS recording 65 species of birds and the enthusiast category winners MORA identifying 62 species of birds.
To further our effort to educate the public about the importance of protecting our wetlands, an education desk manned by a FEO volunteer was set up at two of the three wetland sites. An infographic created by the Environmental Foundation Limited (www.efl.lk) on the importance of our urban wetlands was displayed at these sites, while a sign up sheet for the “Urban Wetland Watch” a programme by FOGSL was also available at each site.
All data gathered during the Colombo Bird Race was shared with FOGSL to be utilized in their field surveys. In keep with environmental standards awards for the winners were created using recycled paper.
This event was sponsored by Go Outdoors Lanka Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Fairway Holdings. (www.facebook.com/gooutdoorslanka)
Date – 20th March 2016
As part of the FEO’s climate change program several activities have been conducted over the course of the last year with partners and member organizations.
Earth Day Climate Reality Education Stall: 25th April 2015
In celebration of Earth Day 2015 the FEO organized an education stall at the Good Market, Colombo (www.goodmarket.lk). A set of infographics on the effects and causes of climate change and adaptation strategies were created for this event and used to educate market-goers. Endemic trees from a Forest Department nursery were donated to market-goers looking to plant a tree on Earth Day. To complete this program, the Mind Adventures Theater Company performed two short satirical skits on the attitudes of people in Colombo in regard to the environment, their beliefs and behaviors.
Climate Change in Your Island: Photography Competition: June 15th 2015
The FEO organized and ran a photographic competition with the aim of getting the public of Sri Lanka thinking more about climate change and how the effects of it can be witnessed in their day to day lives. This programme was launched in celebration of World Environment Day which falls on June 5th). Of 26 entries 3 winners were selected by the FEO Trustees. All photographs have been shared on our Facebook page and also have been utilized in “Sulanga” (FEO’s biweekly newsletter).
Climate Change in Your Island Facebook Album -www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.908599519163021.1073741833.607778385911804&type=3
Beyond Zero Emissions: A Practical Approach to Combating Climate Change in Sri Lanka : 17th September 2015
Organized by the FEO in collaboration with the Biodiversity Sri Lanka (www.biodiversitysrilanka.org) and Journeys for Climate Justice (www.journeysforclimatejustice.org.au) and Eco-Volunteers (www.eco-v.org) this forum was targeted at the business community of Sri Lanka and held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Auditorium. Dr. Steven Bygrave from Beyond Zero Emissions presented his research on combating climate change in an urban setting, following which a panel of experts discussed opportunities in combating climate change in Sri Lanka.
The panel was moderated by Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri – Country Representative of IUCN Sri Lanka and consisted of:
- Dr. Sunimal Jayathunga – Director of the Climate Change Secretariat
- Mr. Avanthi Jayathilale – CEO of EML Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd
- Mr.Chanaka Wickramasuriya
- Managing Partner of Ironwood Capital Partners
- Mr. Jude Kasthuriarachchi – Director of Jetwing Hotels Ltd
- Mr. Srilal Miththapala – Consultant Business Development of LTL Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd.
Youth Beach Clean Up: 26th August 2015
Organized by the FEO Youth Internship Programme in collaboration with the Z Club of Colombo and the Interact Club of the British School, this event was held on the Wellawatte Beach. Nearly 50 youths from Colombo cleaned a 2km stretch of beach adjacent to the Wellawatte Railway Station. This was followed by an eco-bricking workshop coordinated by the FEO.
Vision Ecobricks (VEB’s – www.ecobricks.org) are an exciting way that can help in the segregation of plastics and also create sustainable uses for used plastics.
Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project
FEO has been involved in supporting this programme through volunteering their services as a Sinhalese translator during educational talks conducted by the Project and assisting in conducting field surveys at the Biodiversity Study Park in Thalawatugoda.
Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project – www.fishingcats.lk
Date Commenced: July 2015
Project Progress : Ongoing