Standard Chartered Bank and International Union for Conservation of Nature Forge Partnership

Biological diversity of Sri Lanka is significantly important both at regional and a global scale and Sri Lanka has the highest species density (number of species per 10,000sq. km) for flowering plants, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals in the Asian region. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is declared as one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world.

According to the 2007 National Red List of Sri Lanka, a total of 674 species representing all the vertebrate groups (freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) were found to be in a threatened category (Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable). This roughly represents 1/3 of the indigenous Sri Lankan vertebrate fauna. Furthermore, 57 species were found to be critically endangered, 99 were found to be endangered and 66 were found to be vulnerable. Of the 1,103 plants species evaluated for the Red List, a total of 675 species were found to be threatened (Critically endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable), representing approximately 17 % flowering plant species in Sri Lanka.

Considering the plight of the dwindling fauna, Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka has forged a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sri Lanka Country Office on 24th March 2010 to increase the public awareness of threatened species and habitats of Sri Lanka.

As a part of the initiative, the Bank has sponsored  Sri Lanka’s first Coffee Table  book Threatened  . . . Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity, highlighting selected species listed in the 2007 Red List of Threatened Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka as well as some critical habitats. The book is scheduled to be launched very soon. 

This professionally designed coffee table book will get the public attention as images with a short description is an effective way to capture the attention on threatened species. The coffee table book will be circulated among the high calibre clients of the bank as a token of appreciation while sending the important message on threatened species of Sri Lanka. This publication will also help SCB to build their image at the global scale as many of the multinational corporations have already engage with many species conservation activities around the world.

In addition to the Coffee Table book, the Bank, together with IUCN, implemented a capacity building and awareness programmes for the Bank’s staff during the year. The Bank’s staff volunteers also followed Training of Trainers sessions on biodiversity and threatened species issues. After which they would be able to roll out the training to other staff members. As part of the awareness campaign, conservation and biodiversity posters will be displayed and educational material will be distributed across the Bank’s offices.

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