Past Projects (2013/14)
Environmental Conservation & Sustainable Development Practices for Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces: Workshop
A workshop to enhance the environmental sensitivity knowledge of Officers in the Sri Lanka Armed forces engaged in implementation of development projects was sponsored by the Office of Chief of Defense Staff in December 2013.
FEO members and partners who are internationally recognized in each of their fields of study, conducted the workshop.
In May 2012, Sri Lanka Customs took into custody 359 tusks that were being illegally shipped through the Country to Dubai. The President had initially instructed that this ivory be distributed to Buddhist temples around the country.
As the ivory is a result of the illegal and cruel slaughter of over 150 African elephants, this would have been a grave sin and a shameful act of sin thrust on our temples. It would have also encouraged poaching and Sri Lanka as a consumer of contraband.
The FEO worked with its members to bring this to the attention of the highest officials in the Country by writing to H.E. The President, conducting a press conference with the Sri Lanka Nature Group, and initiating several articles on the issue of blood ivory in local newspapers.
Several of our members urged us to consider the proposed Yan Oya irrigation project that would be have disastrous consequences for the local environment and important archeological sites in the area.
Upon careful examination of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared and made public by the Central Environment Authority (CEA), by our members with relevant qualifications and expertise, it was identified that there are several fundamental flaws related to the project, the data, and the environmental damage mitigation plans.
As such, two of our member organizations have filed formal comments to the CEA indicating their concerns.
Sampur Coal Power Plant
Having adequate power to run a growing economy and feed the needs of Sri Lankans who are without electricity is an imperative for our Country. However, doing so at the cost of the wellbeing of our natural environment, agricultural industry, our immediate troposphere, and our precious foreign currency should not be an option. All available scientific knowledge of the current plans to build a coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee, show that it is a ill-conceived plan for the following reasons;
1. The location of the coal power plant in the East means that all emissions from the plant will be blown west during the North-east monsoon period.
2. Emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide will increase the risk of acid rain in the Island and pollute the pristine environments of the central highlands and Knuckles reserve.
3. We will have to continue to import coal to power the plant for the duration of its operation. Why should we pay when;
4. We already have proven reserves of natural gas in the gulf of Mannar that can fuel a cleaner LNG plant in the same location.
5. When the entire world is heading toward renewable and cleaner energy sources because we HAVE to, why is Sri Lanka “developing” backwards?
The FEO is working with members and volunteers to collect the necessary data to make a feasible case to the Government to make more prudent decisions on catering to our power requirements.
The FEO plans to invigorate affected groups and is building a coalition to ensure that the right technologies for power generation will be selected for our Country.
Other Campaigns, Awareness Raising Programs and Activities
FEO members are involved in conducting a variety of campaigns, awareness raising and education programs, and litigation efforts related to protecting our environment and ensuring ecologically sustainable development in Sri Lanka.
Among these are;
1. Encroachment of protected areas by private companies (both foreign and local)
2. Uma Oya development project EIA comments
3. Illegal road construction in national parks
4. Ecologically centered development of Colombo metropolitan region