"In order to live in nature, with nature, we must detach ourselves from the nature in ourselves"   
- Maja Lunde

Natural treasures left free for plunder

‘Mother Nature is taking a break’, is now a common phrase seen on social media during the coronavirus lockdown. These words stem from the fact that we now have much better air quality because of the lack of vehicles in otherwise smog-filled cities. Whilst nature might seem to be suffering less on the surface, recent reported incidents of poaching and violence against rangers in National Parks show that illegal activities are now rampant in sensitive eco-systems.

From Royal Treasure to Garbage Dump: Tragedy of Muthurajawela

It was a dry Wednesday with very little catch in the lagoon's murky polluted waters. As Kumara moored his rundown fishing boat amidst the mangroves the unmistakable smell of smoke rose around him. He was unconcerned, as this was the norm, fires would be lit and doused and then more garbage dumped. However, reaching his house he was surprised to find it enveloped in smoke with his invalid wife outside. Acting fast he lifted his wife and carried her outside through the garbage paved path, to the main road for fresh air. be fore heading back towards the flames, to save his boat.

Tackling the Trash problem: Zero Waste People

The Zero Waste movement is a lifestyle trend which many people have adopted globally to combat waste. Whilst no zero waste household is literally ‘zero’ in its waste generation, it is an ideal that they aspire to achieve by aiming to send very little to a landfill, by reducing what they need, reusing as much as they can and sending little to be recycled and composting all biodegradable waste. Achini Wijesinghe and Thushara Dasanayake popularly known as the ‘Zero Waste People’ are a couple that has taken up this challenge in Sri Lanka, their Instagram page which was started in September 2019 has quickly gained almost two thousand followers and depicts the everyday challenges they face as well as the sustainable alternatives they find.

Microplastics: An Invisible Menace

Plastic is everywhere. The ubiquitous material that was once called the world’s most useful substance has now become a nuisance in its permanence. Plastic is now strewn across our lands, in our waterways and have also contaminated our oceans. However, few know that plastic is also ingested by us on a regular basis. An awareness programme conducted by the Ministry of Environment revealed that one person ingests around 1669 pieces of microplastics per week, which is equivalent to eating a credit card.

Sri Lanka joins Global Climate Movement

“I don't want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.” - Greta Thunberg These are the words of 16 year-old Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg who pioneered the Global Climate Strikes. These Climate Strikes have since then become a rising phenomenon across the world to call for stronger action to mitigate the threats posed to the world by Climate Breakdown.

'Thuruliya Wenuwen Api' Reclaiming Wilpattu

Sri Lanka was once a country with more than 80 per cent forest coverage, however with rapid population growth and ‘development’ our forest coverage is now decreasing at an alarming rate. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization by the end of 2005, Sri Lanka became the fourth worst deforesting country in the world. Amidst this furious rate of deforestation, the 30 yearlong civil war inadvertently kept the forests to the North of the country significantly safe. However, fast forward to the present with the end of the three decade-long brutal war, much of the North has also significantly lost its forest coverage.

Sri Lanka’s marine giants in danger

Sri Lanka is blessed with the best of both worlds; in land and in the sea. We are the proud home of the largest majestic creature on land; the elephant, as well as the largest mammal in the sea, the blue whale. However, both of these animals are being threatened through pollution and habitat destruction caused by mankind. Speaking at a public lecture organized by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society, Marine Biologist Dr. Asha de Vos elaborated on the issues faced by whales off the Sri Lankan coast.

Bombing the Deep

Multicolored coral reefs swarming with billions of lives surrounded our beautiful isle in the past. But today upon visit to the deep blue depths that surround the country, one would be lucky enough to find a precious few intact. In the rare event that someone dives in to our seas to look at these marvels they might also be unlucky enough to hear an explosion shattering a coral reef into pieces, instantly decimating years of Mother Nature’s work.

Facing Sri Lanka’s Climate Breakdown

Colombo has now become the hotspot for a myriad of different weather conditions. On a typical day out in the city, a person can now experience mild to scorching sun, flash rains and even thunder, all in a matter of a few hours. Last year, Sri Lanka was ranked as the second most vulnerable country to climate change, in the‘Global Climate Risk Index 2019’, published by Germanwatch whilst the World Bank states that approximately 19 million people in the island live in locations that would become moderate or severe climate hot spots by 2050.

End of deep blue seas?

The story of oceans is the story of life. A defining factor of our planet, Earth’s nickname ‘Blue Planet’ is derived from the sheer abundance of water on its surface; of which 96.5 per cent is contained in oceans. Our oceans also provide the air we breathe and produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. They also regulate our climate and weather patterns, by transporting heat from the equator to the poles.
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