International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Brandix Lanka Limited, Sri Lanka’s biggest apparel exporter, joined hands to strengthen the ecological restoration of the Kelani River Basin. Brandix will finance the project and collaborate with IUCN to set up a mechanism for online monitoring of discharge into the river at the investment promotion zones and develop a baseline for minor-watershed water quality status.
The initiative will work closely with Central Environment Authority (CEA), Board of Investment (BOI), local authorities, technical agencies, private companies, communities and universities, among other interested parties. The project will also bring Brandix’s experience in real-time monitoring at Brandix India Apparel City in Visakhapatnam, to Sri Lanka.
This partnership provides essential initial inputs to the implementation of Kelani River Basin Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (KRMP) approach (https://db.tt/EwnjTGB7), developed by CEA, with the involvement of over 20 government agencies and the private sector, with technical inputs from IUCN and UNICEF funding support, under the National Pavithra Ganga Programme. The water quality baseline developed will be the first step towards the formation of Public-Private-Community work groups at minor-watershed levels to address pollution issues at the local level.
With this initiative, both IUCN and Brandix Lanka Limited envisage an expansion of private sector engagement, in a coordinated manner, along with government initiatives, towards providing quality drinking water to millions of people, while sustaining the large number of livelihoods dependent upon the environment services provided by the Kelani River.
A Memorandum of Understanding between Brandix Lanka Limited and IUCN was signed on 1 December 2016 at IUCN Sri Lanka Country Office. Mr. Iresha Somarathna, Group Head (Environmental Engineering) of Brandix Lanka Limited and Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative of IUCN, along with project staff of Brandix and IUCN participated in the signing event.