Poseidon Army Launch - Youth To Conserve The Precious Coasts
Sri Lanka possesses territorial waters in an area of 21,700 square kilometers .25% of the resources in Sri Lanka are based along the coastal lines. Fishing Industry is one of the main economic incomes for the country. Sandy beach along the coastal areas of Sri-Lanka draw a lot of tourists, bringing into the country foreign currency.
Today, the coastal line is heavily populated. The coastal attractions and economic gains have sprouted a variety of buildings such as hotels, restaurants, road side eateries, business establishments, shops, schools and filling stations within a few kilometers from the sea.
Crime at sea is entirely because of human activities. What we do on land has dire consequences and is responsible for 70% of oceanic pollution. We treat the seas as convenient dump yard. Activities such as Agriculture, industry, Urbanization, mining and rigging for oil have all got impacts on the ocean.
Poseidon Army , is a volunteer youth project on socio economic coastal management. Thisproject gathered 25 volunteers from around the country to form a task force to carry out researchon the coastal belt and the marine waters in several areas of Sri Lanka. The launch of the research project took place at the Green Pavilion of the EDEX Education Exhibition on the 19thof January 2014. The attendees were UN Information Centre officials, Mrs. Hiranthi Gunawardena and Mrs. Kumari Wickramasinghe , Adhil Bakeer Makar and Senel Wanniarachchi of International Task Force for World Conference on Youth-National Youth Service Council, Mr.Daminda Siriwardena -Director EDEX Think Green, Ashrifa Ali from the Spectrum Institute of Science and Technology – Outreach Campus University of Mysore ,Sachinda Dulanjana – H3 Foundation and Palinda Perera Young Biologists Association.
“When we started our news portal which gave the platform to initiate Earth Lanka YouthNetwork in 2010 we never thought we would achieve the mile stone of youth empowerment for Environment projects. I believe this project will help the communities living in the coastal line and will also inspire future development projects in coastal areas”, said Sudarsha De Silva Founder Earthlanka Youth Network, at the launch.
Aquatic Biologists Ruwini Perera and Youth activist –Law & International relations studentThilini Banadara are the founders and the main steering committee of the project. They are the key people in creating a youth volunteer force who are passionate about conserving the coast.
Finalizing a National Strategy and Management Plan for coastal conservation is one of the key concerns throughout this project. The Volunteers will be trained in monitoring coastal pollution,scuba diving, snorkeling, ecological value along the coasts, eco tourism and research skills to understand climate change and hazards. This youth project will continue in 3 beach areas of Sri-Lanka such as Colombo, Kalpitiya & Pasikuda.
These youth will be trained and supervised under the guidance of the members of Island ScubaNishan Perera and Naren Gunasekara who are leading marine biologists in Sri Lanka. Acombination of foreign lecturers will fortify Poseidon Army with expert knowledge and guidance.
Poseidon Army is sponsored mainly by National Youth Services Council-Sri Lanka , United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Colombo( very supportive to youth groups) , Island Scuba,Spectrum Institute of Science and Technology – outreach campus of University of Mysore, 2ndPartner, H3 Foundation, Young Biologists Association and EDEX Think Green.
International Youth Task Force for World Conference on Youth 2014 addressed the gathering with the value of implementing youth lead environment projects. They stressed that these initiatives as the host country for World Conference on Youth 2014 would aspire many more to join. The 2014 World Conference on Youth (WCY 2014) is scheduled to take place from the 5th to the 10th of May 2014 in Colombo. The underlying theme of WCY 2014 is ‘Mainstreaming Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda’. The conference will bring together youth from the world over with a special focus on under-represented youth with a gender and regional balance. In total 1500 youth will be selected representing different countries but also young people from groups identified as unrepresented or underrepresented. WCY 2014 will facilitate a process that strengthens effective youth participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of post -2015 development agenda – which refers to the process of defining the future global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The Conference will also create an inclusive platform for youth that enables them to review the progress of MDGs, share ideas, experiences and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the post -MDG framework and its implementation.
Both Adhil and I are members of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth, Empowering youth on Environment conservation is also a topic which will be discussed broadly and it’s good to see these projects coming up especially in our country, Said SenelWanniarachchi member of International Youth Task Force for World Conference on Youth 2014.
Addressing the gathering as Laboratory and Science partner; Ashrifa Ali from Spectrum Institute of Science and Technology, stressed on the importance of using scientific innovations to conserve the coast. ‘Man has today reached the molecular level of scientific investigation; the applications of these researches should be used to solve global issues such as marine pollution and sustainable lifestyle along the coast’, said Ashrifa at the launch. Spectrum Institute ofScience and Technology is the Outreach Campus of University of Mysore that offers Life Science degree programs in Sri Lanka. They have proud alumni of over 300 graduates.
Poseidon Army is currently looking for driven youth leaders who are keen about environmental conservation to join their task force. If you are interested in joining hands with them get more details by contacting Thilini Bandara-The project chairperson on –0774371914. For more details