The coffee table book is officially launched and handed over to Prof. K. R. R. Mahanama, the Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Colombo (left) by Nandana Ekanayaka, CEO of Insee Cement (center), and Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative of IUCN Sri Lanka (right)
Insee Cement joined hands with the Base for Enthusiasts of Environmental Science and Zoology (BEEZ) of the University of Colombo and Biodiversity Sri Lanka, a network of private sector companies working together on biodiversity conservation issues, to commemorate World Environment Day with impact in a very meaningful way.
The celebration under the theme ‘Connecting people to nature’ provided the ideal opportunity to launch the coffee table book initiated by Insee Cement in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, (IUCN) titled ‘To our planet with respect’.
The book showcases the company’s environmental initiatives carried out in partnership with IUCN on rehabilitation of an ecosystem at the Aruakalu Quarry in Puttalam. Thousands of animals have been rescued and systematic reforestation and rehabilitation has been put in place at this site by Insee Cement to restore the ecosystem to its former glory. The endeavour initiated as a socially conscious corporate company, also promotes awareness among the community about the need to protect the environment and vulnerable species. Shiranee Yasaratne, Adviser, Biodiversity Sri Lanka commented “Insee Cement, a patron member of Biodiversity Sri Lanka, has demonstrated outstanding corporate responsibility in mainstreaming biodiversity concerns into its core business, that goes far beyond legal compliance requirements. Their ability to share professional experience and encourage good practices has even prompted other industries to become more eco-friendly. Their concern for protecting the country’s biodiversity is most commendable.”
The CEO of Insee Cement, Nandana Ekanayake said, “As a major stakeholder in the construction industry, we are sincerely concerned about striving to create a better world for tomorrow while building the structures of today. Our passion for biodiversity protection is clearly reflected in the many strategies we have in place to safeguard the delicate balance within our ecosystem. Through our membership with Biodversity SriLanka we are glad to be able to share our success stories with the private sector both nationally and internationally.”
Professor Wipula Yapa, Head Department of Zoology and Environmental Science of the University of Colombo commented “This initiative helps to raise awareness and encourage our country’s future leaders, to adopt environment friendly practices. Creating awareness among our students is critical as we are the first generation to combat and deal with climate change and the last generationthat can probably to do something about it”.
INSEE Cement has extended its activities to protect the ecosystem in several vulnerable areas. Similarly, together with IUCN the company has begun to restore damaged coral reefs of Unawatuna in the Southern Province.
Several successful biodiversity protection initiatives have resulted from this unique partnership. All projects identified were reviewed by IUCN and Insee Cement and proposals were compiled within the framework of global co-operation between IUCN andthe Insee Group of Companies.The partnership has helped to develop comprehensive strategies to identify and develop initiatives with a focus on supporting sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation while encouraging good practices in sustainable construction within the industry and the community for a greener Sri Lanka.