St. Nicholas’ International College celebrates World Environment Day

St. Nicholas’ International College celebrated World Environment Day in collaboration with the Youth Wing of the Sri Lanka Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) on June 13, 2018.

The event was organised by teacher-in-charge Nilmini Perera and the Science Society members in collaboration with the Girl Guides, under the guidance of the College Director Rev. Dr. Anthony Fernandopulle.

Representatives of the society held lectures on topics ranging from the endangerment of the Sri Lankan wild elephant and leopard populations as well as environmental pollution affecting both the country and the world. A representative of the WNPS pointed out the fact that the Sri Lankan elephant population had halved from 12,000 elephants to 6,000 within the past 75 years was a cause for apprehension as it denoted a rather bleak outlook on the future of one of Sri Lanka’s most unique and precious forms of life.

The lecture outlined the causes and effects of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC), while also highlighting possible solutions that could be implemented. In doing so, Sri Lanka would conserve one of its main tourist attractions which would in turn, serve the community in the long run. Further, the deterioration of the natural habitats of wild animals occurring for the sake of insensible development and corrupt political agendas also pose threats to the survival of Sri Lanka’s apex predator, the leopard, which had also become an endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, with only around 700 to 950 leopards still in existence.

The statistics related to the said animals come as a shock given the strict laws that surround the wildlife in Sri Lanka. Research revealed that while these laws do exist, their enforcement had become weak and hence, the ability of the law to cause effectual change, is crippled. Moving on to the issue of pollution had revived Sri Lankan memories of one of the most catastrophic disasters caused by garbage, which was the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump in 2017.

The need for more efficient garbage-management became painfully clear as it destroyed the lives of many Sri Lankans. Organizing your garbage at home comes as a first step in the management of waste, which could contribute to the world we live in. Alternatives to plastic were also discussed along with the importance of an effective recycling system within Sri Lanka.

The programme ended with a Q&A session during which students rose various queries to WNPS officials. While placing significance on the environment, it was important to also remember that our duty to protect and conserve the world around us must happen 24/7. After all, we only have one world to live in right now, so there will be no starting over once it has gone too far. Live and let live. 

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