IUCN Sri Lanka celebrated World Environmental Day by actively participating in the national event organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) a Member of IUCN. The exhibition titled “Soba 2012” was held at the Royal College Colombo and was graced by the Minister of Environment Hon Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. Several Ministers and senior government officials, including a large number of school children participated at this event.
World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere. World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
The IUCN Sri Lanka stall at the exhibition showcased past and current ongoing environmental initiatives undertaken, through short documentaries, publications, posters and brochures.
IUCN has been heavily involved in supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in biodiversity conservation from its inception in 1988. The Fauna of Sri Lanka – Status of Taxonomy, Research and Conservation (2006), the National Conservation Review (NCR) - a comprehensive assessment of the country's remaining natural forests (1997) and the Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) database established in the FD; Conservation Management Plans for 12 top priority wet zone forests are some of these efforts. Further IUCN has played a major role in supporting GOSL in areas such as the management of Alien Invasive Species, legislation on Access and Benefit Sharing, the National Red Listing process, the National Wetland Directory and more recently in developing the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS).
The exhibition drew large crowds which comprised mainly of school children.