A public lecture titled ‘Red alert: Sri Lanka’s vanishing natural wealth’ given by CEC member Dr Sriyanie Miththapala under the aegis Tree Society of Sri Lanka hit home among the people who attended. There have been many requests for publication and dissemination of this lecture.
This lecture was aligned along CEPA objectives and exemplifies how science-based information was communicated effectively to create awareness about biodiversity and mobilse the public into action. The lecture centred around three sections:
• Setting the stage
• Squandering our wealth
• What can we do to stop this distressing trend.
The first section dealt with the physical and climatic features of Sri Lanka, the many habitats and a selection of species found in Sri Lanka. The second section focussed on the threats to the natural wealth: habitat loss and degradation, pollution, overexploitation, invasive alien species and climate change, with examples from different groups of organisms, under each threat. The final section turned the discussion inward to ask each person who attended to examine their daily lives to see whether they were contributing to ongoing threats.
There have been several requests to for publication and wider dissemination of the lecture. Plans are underway to upload the presentation on YouTube and to duplicate and release a DVD in all three national languages that will be readily available to the general public. It will be published online in July 2013, and it is expected that the DVD and You tube video will be available in about three months.