Environmental  conservation


Striving for a cleaner Sri Lanka

Generations of Sri Lankans are accustomed to the widespread use of Plastics & Polythene daily. This habit is a nuisance to the country, with mountains of garbage dumps in many parts of the island. As members of the Rotaract Club of Centennial United, we are embarking on a mission to spread awareness on the minimum use of Plastic & Polythene while promoting sustainable solutions to create a cleaner Sri Lanka.

                #Pavithra will reach out to the youth of our country while addressing  
                                                   the communities in general.

This programme hopes to span out to regions in the country and create “Eco-Zones”, which lives up to the focus of #Pavithra through the engagement of religious, public and private institutions.
 Earth Protectors, along with Rotaract Club of Centennial United, strives for a cleaner Sri Lanka, and #Pavithra is the joint effort to leave a better country for future generations.

Every day tons of Plastic and Polythene products are manufactured & imported to Sri Lanka and popularly consumed by the people to fulfil their various domestic & commercial purposes owing to the easiness, cheapness and convenience of using plastic products.

 However, people often neglect the hazardousness and negative impact of using these products, hence, failing to openly discuss and take appropriate action against the grievous matter up until the recent past. 

Sri Lanka now strives toward achieving Global Sustainable Development Goals by aligning the National Development process with the Global Development Agenda. Sri Lanka is presently marching forward in eradicating all possible uses of plastic and polythene products, hence promoting and ensuring Environmental Protection and Sustainability. However, it is a long journey on a rough path with many obstacles to overcome in achieving a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

Younger generations are considered the voice of the future leaders of the nation. It is in the hand of inhabitants of every nation to contribute to a cleaner and greener environment. The youth consumer is the most responsible for initiating this task to minimise the use of polythene and plastic as the most influential component in modern society. Youth possess the ability and the capacity to disseminate the importance of a green environment and ways to keep the environment healthy and green through cleaning campaigns, workshops, and seminars in eradicating polythene and plastic use among society as a whole through their powerful voice.

Communities are exploring possible solutions in the process of cleaning up the environment and minimizing a negative impact on natural ecosystems. Some countries are banning plastic bag usage at retailers, ensuring Environmental Sustainability and Protection. Young Consumers are the key in making a positive contribution to the environment by making personal decisions to limit or avoid using plastic bags. In this age of environmental concern individuals, majority being the younger generation are outwardly interested in the healthy state of their surroundings. It is the desire for a clean environment represents a powerful sense of destiny and hope for the future. Inspiring on the importance in preserving the environment, young leaders of Rotaract Sri Lanka & Maldives are among the best communicators on the issue of plastic pollution and its impacts.

Conservation Areas

Sri Lanka’s conservation areas are critical for conservation of biodiversity. Some species are being pushed into vulnerable status when habitats shrink and perish due to increasing human population expansion, development projects, and urbanisation. Inside the protected zones, human intervention is forbidden or restricted. As a result, these regions serve as wildlife refuges by providing perfect environment for their survival. Protected areas safeguard environmental services as well as cultural and historical sites. Furthermore, these regions serve as reference points for monitoring changes in the environment as a result of human activity. In Sri Lanka, the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Forest Department are in charge of protected areas.

Classification of Protected Areas according to Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance

  1. Strict Natural Reserve – 03
  2. National Park – 25
  3. Nature Reserve – 09
  4. Jungle Corridor – 02
  5. Marine National Park – 01
  6. Marine Reserves – 00
  7. Buffer zone – 00
  8. Sanctuary or a Managed Elephant Reserve – 68 +1

Strict Natural Reserve (SNR)

Three (03) Strict Natural Reserves have been declared under the provisions of the Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance. (Haggala, Yala and Ritigala). As 1a of the IUCN protected area category (Strict Nature Reserve), human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited in these areas to ensure the protection of the conservation values. These areas are reference areas for monitoring changes outside due to the human impact and create unique habitats for endemic species (Point endemic). Entering into the SNR is prohibited but it is not restricted for the purpose of discharging any official duty or authorised scientific research. Both purposes can be deployed along with the permission of the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

National Park

Twenty Eight (25) National Parks have scattered throughout the country providing scientific, educational, recreational and aesthetic opportunities to visitors. These areas are declared under the provisions of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. Visitors are allowed to enter the national park with permits in accordance with the conditions, issued by the prescribed officer of the Department of Wildlife Conservation on the payment of the prescribed fee. Yala and Wilpattuwa are the older National Parks of the country. Yala, Wilpattu, Horton plains and Udawalawa are the most visited national parks of the country. National parks such as Maduruoya, Udawalawa and Galoya were declared for the purposes of protecting of catchment areas and providing habitats for displaced animals due to the huge irrigation projects. Definition of National park is compatible with category II of protected areas introduced by IUCN.

Nature Reserve


Nine (9) areas of state lands in the country have been declared as nature reserves under the provisions of the Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance to preserve their natural conditions. Entering without a permit or carrying out any harmful activity inside a nature reserve is prohibited. Therefore human influence has minimized in these areas and allowed to retain their natural characteristics as protected areas category 1b of IUCN ( Wilderness Area).

Jungle Corridor

Today we face severe problems due to habitat fragmentation. Therefore declaration of jungle corridors is a good solution to facilitate the movements of animals between protected areas. Also, it is very important to reduce the inbreeding depression of a population and thereby contribute to a stable population. Two (02) jungle corridors were declared under the provisions of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance so far. (Kavuulla – Minneriya and Nelugala)

Marine National Park

Legal provisions of a Marine National Park are almost similar to a National park declared under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. Visitors are allowed to enter marine national parks to observe and study the fauna and flora. But any activity that has been carried out by law or custom or usage, or traditional practice before the establishment of the Marine National Park are allowed by imposing conditions. Adam’s bridge was declared as the 1st Marine National Park in Sri Lanka under the provisions of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.

Marine Reserves

A Marine reserve is a kind of marine protected area that has not been declared so far, under the provisions of the Fauna and Flora Protection ordinance.

Buffer zone

A buffer zone has to be comprised of state-owned lands; that extend from the outer border of the national park. It provides better protection and minimized the human influence on National Park. No buffer zone has been declared so far. However, the human influence on the national park has been curtailed, according to section 9A of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.

Sanctuary or a Managed Elephant Reserve

An area declared to be a sanctuary or managed elephant reserve may include both state land and other than state lands. Some activities have been prohibited even on private land within a sanctuary. 68 sanctuaries including 1 Manage Elephant Reserve have been declared so far.