IUCN Sri Lanka Office and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Environment held a celebratory event with the media and IUCN Members on the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) on 5 May, 2010 at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo.
The main objective of the event was to publicise IYB, raise awareness on biodiversity in Sri Lanka and to seek the help of the media to disseminate the messages. The Chief Guest was Mr W M Wijesooriya, Additional Secretary of the MoE.
Mr Raquibul Amin, IYB Focal Point in Asia and the Regional Coordinator - Ecosystems Management, Ecosystems & Livelihoods Group II of IUCN Asia spoke on the importance of IYB, whilst Mr Gamini Gamage, Director – Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment laid out the Ministry’s plans for IYB in Sri Lanka.
The event was marked with two excellent presentations – one on Sri Lanka’s Coastal Ecosystems and their current status by Dr J I Samarakoon, and the other featuring Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity by Mr Vimukthi Weeratunge of IUCN Sri Lanka.
Three publications The National Strategy and Action Plan: An Ecosystem-based Integrated Coastal Management in Sri Lanka, Mangroves: A Resource Book for Secondary School Teachers and The Union, People and Nature were also launched at this event.