Established in 1986, IUCN Sri Lanka over the last 28 years contributed significantly to enhance conservation efforts To highlight past contributions and the future potentials an “Open House” was held on 3 June 2014 at the IUCN premises.
Mr B.M.U.D. Basnayake, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy graced the occasion. The event also coincided with the visit to Sri Lanka by Mrs Aban Marker Kabraji, Regional Director, IUCN Asia and Dr T. P. Singh, Deputy Regional Director, IUCN Asia. Nearly 100 invitees comprising of IUCN Sri Lanka National Committee Members, Sri Lankan members of the IUCN six Commissions, donors, partners and representatives from diplomatic missions attended this event. Exhibits have been grouped under several themes such as strengthening biodiversity conservation; conserving protected areas; strengthening policy; facilitating conservation efforts of the private sector were on display. In addition the “Open House” also promoted the IUCN Corporate NATURE+ concept and the mechanisms IUCN use to deliver its agenda such as the Memberships and Commissions. One attraction was a large map of Sri Lanka showing IUCN SL’s presence in different regions of the country along project details. IUCN SL’s publications were displayed at a separate section with guidance on how to access them. The butterfly garden established in 2011 was a centre of attraction. Efforts of the Mangroves for the Future initiative in Sri Lanka since 2007 was showcased at another corner. The technical staff and the officer in-charge-of constituency were available to provide details for those interested. In his speech the Secretary of Environment highlighted the value of “Strategic Environment Assessments that also include Biodiversity Assessments” as a key to the sustainability of the rapid development. IUCN Sri Lanka’s corporate movie along with other project related documentaries were also screened. The “Open House” enabled to share IUCN Sri Lanka’s wealth of knowledge and experience with those who attended the event and highlight IUCNs strengths in supporting sustainable development.