'Our challenge for the future is that we realize we are very much a part of the earth's ecosystem, and we must learn to respect and live according to the basic biological laws of nature.' – Jim Fowler.
Nature matters and it should matter to all of us. Most people would like to think that there is an abundance of wildlife species in the world but the truth is, their numbers are fast dwindling.
Wildlife is endangered because of human greed, destruction of animal habitat due to agicultural, industrial and urban development. Which is why there is a need for wildlife conservation.
This process ensures that habitats with endangered animal and plant species and habitats will be protected and preserved. The loss of species is a tragedy that has deep impact and consequences on mother nature as well as all life.
Animal, plant and marine biodiversity keeps ecosystems functional. Healthy ecosystems allow us to survive, provides enough food to eat and provides a living. When species disappear or fall in number, ecosystems and people—especially the world’s poorest—suffer as communities from rural areas depend heavily on nature for food and livelihoods.
Conservation matters for several reasons. Biodiversity: Disappearance of one species could influence several others down the line. Wildlife conservation is a preventative measure for unforeseen problems.
Agriculture: Wildlife conservation as mentioned before secures future food supplies and a depletion of wildlife means a depletion of crop and food supplies for us.
Research: There are many species of undiscovered plants which has medicinal properties used in pharmaceutical industry and traditional medicine.
In Sri Lanka, The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) acts as an advocate and protection unit for wildlife and conservation. The society works closely with the Departments of Wildlife Conservation and Forest Department specially in highlighting conservation issues.
Its primary role now is as a policy advocate and environmental educator. It publishes two bi-annual journals in English & Sinhala and maintains three park lodges for its members in Wilpattu, Yala and Udawalawe National Park.
Apart from the above activity WNPS links with schools to conduct their School & Nature Clubs (SNC) project thought which they works towards education and furthering conservation efforts.
Some of the fun and education activities undertaken by the SNC program are nature camps, bird surveys, posters, art and essay competitions, resident workshops for patron teachers of SNCs, seminars and workshops for students and teachers, marches for conservation in Colombo, exhibition of man and elephant conflict, tree planting campaigns, campaigns to clear rubbish from the seashore and other places.
WNPS' objectives are manifold:
To prevent the destruction and harmful commercial exploitation of wild animals, plants, and wherever desirable and possible, to preserve wildlife intact in natural conditions in Sri Lanka.
To assist in protecting nature in all its forms, such as landscape, soil, water, flora, fauna, marine habitats and to conserve it for future generations.
To co-operate actively with other persons and organisations in Sri Lanka and in other countries in the interests of nature conservation and to give support for study and research concerning wildlife.
To negotiate and co-operate with the state and public bodies in the interests of wildlife and nature conservation, especially to establish and support national reserves and sanctuaries, and assist in their administration.
To establish, administer and hold private wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves.
To publicize the importance of wildlife and nature conservation in this country especially among school children.
To do all other things which seem to be incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above aims.
The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society conducts monthly lectures on important topics related to conservation of wildlife. If you drop in at the BMICH, WNPS is conducting their WNPS Monthly Lecture. As part of its monthly lecture series will address the role of international conventions, domestic conservation impacts and the need for vigilant enforcement networks.
You can support the work of WNPS. The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society solely functions on the contributions of its members and donors. Donation could be made directly the Society’s Head Office at No 86. Rajamalwatta Road, Battaramulla or could be deposited in any Branch of Commercial Bank to the following Account Nos:
Account Name Wildlife & Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka
Account No. 1290003601 (General Account) / 1290019843 (Legal Fund)
Account Currency: All currencies accepted
Bank: Commercial Bank
Branch Address: No. 213, Kaduwela Road, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Swift Code: CCEYLKLX
Bank Code: 7056
(Pictures courtesy WNPS FB page)