Nations Trust Bank hosted children of its loyal customers and employees for an exciting activity based learning exercise involving a nature walk at the Biodiversity Study Park in Thalawathugoda recently.
The expertise on biodiversity and environmental education was provided by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS), with which the bank maintains a long-term partnership in promoting conservation through education.
The event, which was attended by 31 children and their parents, comes at a time when the ecosystem services performed by the urban wetlands have gained a renewed recognition in light of the floods that engulfed the country.
Themed in resonance with World Environment Day, this year’s focus was on connecting with nature, and the program provided the opportunity for Nations Trust Bank’s customers and employees to bond with their children in sharing knowledge, and learning together about their environment, whilst at the same time facilitating greater awareness regarding the accessibility of urban wetlands such as the biodiversity park in Thalawathugoda.
The event featured, interactive, engaging sessions by leading biodiversity researchers, Anya Ratnayake and Ashan Thudugala on wetlands and their importance and on the fishing cats in Sri Lanka. The children were thrilled by the video footage captured of the fishing cats in the midst of Colombo through camera traps and CCTV footage and were also bemused by scat samples available for observation.
These presentations were followed by a guided walk in the park, facilitated by biodiversity experts, kids being paired with their parents along the walk. The experts were present to give more details as and when kids and parents spotted different species or placards of such species that were placed to make the walk interesting and fun for the kids. Volunteers of Nations Trust Bank also joined to help facilitate the nature walk.
Going beyond a one-off event, Nations Trust Bank has sponsored the participating children for the annual junior membership of Wildlife and Nature Protection Society, which provides these kids the opportunity to participate in other nature
Speaking about the Bank’s emphasis on environmental education, Priyantha Talwatte, DGM – Consumer Banking, drew attention to Nations Trust Bank’s other CSR initiatives on environmental protection, such as its support to conservation efforts at Hiyare Sanctuary, WNPS’s biodiversity lecture series, and WNPS’s Loris and Warana/Waranam magazines and encouraged the invitees to connect with these activities and platforms and stay engaged in environmental stewardship.