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Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes cleans up beach

7 October 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Though Sri Lanka is rimmed by some of the world’s best beaches, few compare with the wide, white, miles-long stretch of sand that runs North of Trincomalee past Pigeon Island and Nilaveli to the lagoon mouth at Kuchaveli. 

Development has brought growing prosperity (and more visitors) to the area since 2009, but Kuchaveli Beach has remained remarkably unspoilt and uncrowded. The few hotels dotted along its length are, on the whole, environmentally conscious and tastefully inconspicuous. At Kuchaveli, getting away from it all is still a genuine option.
Keeping it that way is an important priority at Jungle Beach, Uga Escapes’ luxury boutique hotel at Kuchaveli. Located where three ecologies – lagoon and mangrove forest, tropical seashore and Dry Zone forest – intersect, the hotel’s main attraction is the stunning biodiversity that surrounds it, and into which it blends so perfectly. The owners and management of Jungle Beach have good reasons to preserve Kuchaveli Beach – as well as the surrounding area – in pristine natural condition.
Earlier this year, Uga Escapes got together with one of its major business partners, Kuoni Travels of Switzerland, to undertake a major clean-up of Kuchaveli Beach ahead of the main visitor season. In the months before the season opens, spring tides, monsoon rains and the activities of local fishermen tend to leave a lot of debris above the tideline. Some of it is plastic, unsightly and eco-unfriendly.
Working together under the direction of Jungle Beach General Manager V.A. Sivapriyan, two teams comprising hotel staff and visiting Kuoni travel agents from the UK began the Big Beach Clean. One team began work to the north of the hotel, the other to the south; both converged on the hotel. Involving lots of bending and stretching, squatting and kneeling, digging and hauling, the work was hot and strenuous; yet not only were the teams themselves enthusiastic, but several Jungle Beach guests happily joined the effort on their own initiative. Within 3 hours, a 2km stretch of beach fronting the hotel was clear and spotless.
Throughout the exercise, great care was taken to protect and preserve plants, animals and their habitats. Team members were closely briefed about what to pick up and what to leave alone.
The Uga/Kuoni Big Beach Clean was such a success, Sivapriyan was keen make it a regular event. In addition to the environmental benefit and business value of a clean beach, he noted that participating in the effort ‘provides a pleasant holiday experience to our valuable guests,’ adding that ‘it will also help showcase our commitment to sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka.’
In the same spirit, about thirty Jungle Beach staff also took part in the government’s Clean Beach 2015 programme on 22 September, cleaning up almost 2½km of coastal area adjoining and removing 20 bags of plastic debris.
CEO of Uga Escapes, Ramli Ghaffoor, confirmed that ‘beach cleans’ are regular events not only at Jungle Beach but at the company’s other luxury beach resorts. ‘Uga Escapes has always been committed to sustainable tourism, and beach clean ups have been an integral part of our sustainability efforts. During our beach clean ups we aim to cover as much ground as possible and do not limit ourselves to the beach area closest to our properties, though cleaning up one beach is only a modest contribution to that goal, every little bit helps,’ he says. ‘It’s part of the bigger picture.’
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