Environmentalists Too Count On President Rajapaksa To Come To Rescue Of Endangered


Scientists, researchers and environmentalists expressed confidence that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would do a yeoman service to protect the country’s biodiversity. Though it is going be a herculean task, they point out that as he has already proved himself on many a front, the new President was the best man for the job.

Sri Lanka’s father of herpetology and world authority on reptiles and amphibians, Dr. Anslem de Silva, who recently clinched the prestigious IUCN prize, Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation, a first by a Sri Lankan told The EarthLanka that Sri Lanka’s ecosystem was becoming critically threatened and immediate steps were needed to be taken to halt it. He believes that haphazard building construction, especially hotels should not be entertained in critical ecosystems. “Protect nature and nature will protect you,’ he added.

Researcher, naturalist and author Rajika Gamage said that all research establishments coming under different ministries should come under one institute. “I don’t see any person other than President Rajapakse to carry out the task especially when it comes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target,” he added. He also said that there was no point in having parks with full of cheap trees than having trees that are part and parcel of the biodiversity attracting birds and butterflies. “We should think of butterfly parks attracting USD 5 from a foreigner, this could be easily done with our resources. “Citing examples, he said that “like Dilmah does, branding is the key, a Rs. 350 kilo tea is sold at Rs. 6,000 or so”, he added.

President Rajapaksa has acknowledged the importance of preserving the environment for future generations and pledged to work towards it while aiming to fulfill the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.