Protect rivers from Sand Mining – environmentalists welcome president’s moves President Maithripala Sirisena, who himself took on the Environment portfolio, will halt sand mining in Polonnaruwa from today (February 1). He has also ordered his officials to evaluate sustainable river-sand mining and look into alternatives. There has long been small-scale sand mining in the flood plains around Manampitiya Bridge in Polonnaruwa but operations rose sharply some years ago as demand ...

US-India Collaboration & Obama’s Climate Crusade (C) Creative Commons Following a successful visit to China in November that resulted in the US-China joint statement on climate change, President Obama is India. On Sunday, he achieved further success through bilateral cooperation between India and the US countries that focused on addressing climate change and energy issues. Both countries concluded negotiations on a five-year MoU on energy security, ...

‘Birding with the 3rd eye’ “Birds’ welfare comes first” is the message of the FOGSL photography exhibition. This article has been published on SundayTimes on 07.12.2014 - http://www.sundaytimes.lk/141207/plus/birding-with-the-3rd-eye-130738.html Dushantha Wasala’s photograph “The Battlefield” showing a mid-air fight of Malabar Pied Hornbills was the overall winner of the “Birding with the 3rd Eye” exhibition. Sandaruwan Abayaratne, S.N.P. Rodrigo, Dr. Gihan Rajeev and Dr. Sudheera Bandara won first ...

I spy with my little eye a bird! This article was published on 31st of August 2014. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/140831/plus/i-spy-with-my-little-eye-a-bird-115448.html ‘Wild in Ruins’, Lester Perera’s exhibition celebrates both wildlife and archaeological sites  Well known wildlife artist and leading naturalist Lester Perera is ready with his next exhibition of wildlife art under the theme ‘Wild in Ruins’. Among the colourful paintings of birds using watercolours and acrylics, the exhibition contains black and white ...

In this week’s Ravaya column (in Sinhala), I revisit the aviation vision and accomplishments of the late Ray Wijewardene (1924-2010). Licensed to fly fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and autogyros, he had a colourful flying career spanning half a century. In this time, he designed, built and flew over a dozen light aircraft and kept innovating […]

12 THINGS ON YOUR CHECK-LIST WHEN CLIMBING SRI PADA We were ignorantly determined to conquer this sacred mountain a few years back and learnt some valuable lessons for it. Sri Pada, also known as Adam’s Peak is one of Sri Lanka’s many wonders and climbing it to see the sacred footprint located at its apex is an experience every Sri Lankan should have had or at least have ...

From Poop to Paper: Elephant Dung, the Unexpected Saviour of Greenery Whilst over 4 billion trees are being chopped down globally to be transformed in to everyday paper, a couple of environmental enthusiasts and local communities right here from Sri Lanka have provided the ultimate eco-friendly solution. The alternate paper is supplied by the most unexpected creature of nature strolling freely through the dense greenery of the country: The Sri Lankan ...

Discussing climate change with the Ambassador of France in Sri Lanka As the COP20 comes to a close in Peru, France is starting to prepare the COP21 which it will host in 2015, H.E. Mr Jean-Paul Monchau, the Ambassador of France explains the importance of these conferences which are significant milestones in the field of international climate change mitigation. Interview conducted by staff at the French Embassy in Colombo.  What was the ...

Koslanda landslide: Before and after images now on Google Earth Groundviews was able to obtain from Digital Globe imagery around the aftermath of the Koslanda landslide. The following image was the area as it was on 30th May 2012. The following image was taken after the landslide by Digital Globe satellites. A rough Google Earth based measurement puts the length of the landslide at around 855m. Download the KML here. ...

Ensure and protect the rights of people who survived the landslide Image courtesy Colombo Gazette Memorandum to the Ministry of Disaster Management  Ensure and protect the rights of people, especially women and children, who survived the landslide which occurred in the Haldumulla DS area on 29th October 2014 As the Women’s Coalition for Disaster Management, Batticaloa, we wish to express our sincere condolences to the people who perished in the ...

Using Palmyra (තල්) as an Elephant Deterrent Palmyra (තල්) as an Elephant Deterrent Mr. S. M. A. Azeez is former Deputy Director of Agriculture. He has been promoting the use of Palmyra trees as an Elephant deterrent for many years. You can contact Mr. Azeez at 077-348-7114 for further details on how the trees should be planted etc.Photos are of the model plantation with Palmyra as an Elephant Deterrent.

An Ode to Lanka’s Finest Waterfalls It’s just a gush of water, for crying out loud. And it’ll be the same, over and over again. But you’ll keep coming back for more – that’s a promise! Sri Lanka, also called Ceylon, also described as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ is so incredibly small, that most think it’s just a forgotten piece of land belonging to ...

On Restoring Forests It is rumored that the Government will set about the task of having 35% of Sri Lanka covered with forest.  If so, that is a laudable goal. But one hopes that this activity will be framed by the knowledge that allowed Sri Lanka to make the following statement at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP III, in Buenos ...

And they all fall down This afternoon, the remaining residents of 34 watta in Wanathamulla had surprise visitors. Brigadier Samarasinghe who is the Project Director of the UDA’s Urban Regeneration Programme, accompanied by several other UDA officials, police and demolition equipment turned up at 34 watta and informed the residents of imminent evictions and the destruction of their homes. Most of the residents of ...

Coolest Ride in Town Epic Ride Couple of weeks ago I visited San Diego for a brief vacation. On one day I went to the San Diego Zoo, which had rather impressive reviews everywhere but was a bit disappointed as it was nowhere near good as  they claimed to be. The next day, we headed for the SeaWorld San Diego, and this time I ...

Coolest Ride in Town Epic Ride Couple of weeks ago I visited San Diego for a brief vacation. On one day I went to the San Diego Zoo, which had rather impressive reviews everywhere but was a bit disappointed as it was nowhere near good as  they claimed to be. The next day, we headed for the SeaWorld San Diego, and this time I ...

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