Annual Grand Celebration Of The Environmental Pioneer Programme In Schools At NIE


December 21, 2023


The Annual Grand Celebration of the Environmental Pioneer Programme in schools, which is a brainchild of the Central Environmental Authority will be held on 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December 2023 at the National Institute of Education, Maharagama.

The opening ceremony of this year’s camp, where 300 environmental activists including Environmental Pioneers will be camping for four days, will be held at 8.00 a.m. on 21st December headed by Minister of Environment Keheliya Rambukwella; Governor of the Western Province Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Goonethilaka; Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Education M.N. Ranasinghe; Acting Chairman of the CEA W. D. S. C. Weliwaththa; Director General, CEA Hemantha Jayasinghe, and other distinguished guests including officials from other government and private institutions.

‘The Environmental Pioneer Programme’ is the widespread environmental network that is implemented in the Sri Lankan school system by the CEA in collaboration with the Ministry of Education with the noble objective of integrating future Sri Lankan citizens into society as environmentalists.

This program, which was started with a small group of 25 students in 1984 and centered on Maligawatta New Town, Colombo, has now evolved into a programme which is implemented in many schools countrywide.

An Environmental Pioneer, who undertakes to preserve Sri Lanka’s environmental heritage through the National Environmental Pioneer Programme with the theme “Environment protects us – Let’s protect the environment”, should participate in many environmental activities and go through a process in which 05 medals should be obtained. Around 300 environmental activists including 211 pioneers from 61 schools, who have shown special talents and won gold medals will participate in this year’s celebration. Students from 16 districts belonging to eight provinces of Sri Lanka who are Environmental Pioneers are working in this four-day camp with the common goal of protecting the environment.

It was in 1998 at the Randenigala Wildlife Training Center that an Environmental Pioneer Camp was held for the first time along with the Environmental Pioneer Programme.

After the initiation of the Environmental Pioneer Camp there, Camps were held annually thereafter and this year marks the 16th Environmental Pioneer Camp. This is also the first National Environmental Pioneer Camp to be held after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inauguration ceremony of this year’s Camp, which will be headed by the Ministers of Government, will include events such as the awarding of gold medals to 211 environmental pioneers and an exhibition of innovations, and it has been planned to have a variety of special items and environmental activities such as various competitions under the theme of environment, cultural festival of the environmental pilots, and field environmental visits during the camp for the Environmental Pioneers who participate in the Camp.

This event is organized by the Environmental Education and Awareness Division of the Central Environmental Authority to provide the Environmental Pioneers the opportunity to practically experience during these four days the theoretical knowledge they gain on environment conservation at school.