Innovative project seeks to encourage preservation of special trees
The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) – known for its innovative endeavors in the field of corporate environmental sustainability, launched a groundbreaking initiative to recognise and preserve the increasingly threatened biodiversity habitat across the country. ”The Tree of the Year - Sri Lanka” is a highly ambitious project to identify, record and encourage the preservation of trees that have come to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of local communities.
The competition is aimed at school children across the country. Entries are open to student organizations, clubs, associations and teams who will make an entry on behalf of their school. Entries will be required to have an A4 colour photograph of a special tree, located within the same district as the entering school, and a descriptive narrative of the reason that the tree holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the local children or communities in the region (as per the rules of the competition, trees on religious sites such as the Sri Maha Bodhiya are excluded from eligibility). Prizes are awarded for the most outstanding tree, most creative story and best photograph with awards being made to the entering school, student organisation making the entry and the individual photographer respectively.
To bring this groundbreaking concept to fruition, CCC has joined forces with The Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association and The British Council of Sri Lanka. Both organisations have extensive grass roots level networks across the country and have committed to encouraging engagement and participation among schools island-wide.
Commenting on the competition CEO of CCC, Sanith de Silva Wijeyeratne said "We at the Carbon Consulting Company are passionate about bringing about a “greener future” for us all. We work at changing mindsets, creating engagement and starting conversations around concepts such as sustainability, bio diversity and conservation. We were inspired by the European Tree of the Year contest, which has been taking place with great success over the past several years. We are happy to say that we are launching this new concept in Sri Lanka in partnership with the European contest as a pre-curser to much bigger things to come. School children around the country are encouraged to send in entries in behalf of their school, featuring a tree that is special or meaningful to their school, club or even community in general. We are encouraged that we have onboard such reputed partners as The British Council and The Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association. With support such as this I have no doubt that we will ensure a successful competition. We are also greatly indebted to Eswaran Brothers Exports and to the Rainco Group both of whom have come forward to assist in funding this initiative. "
Deputy Country Director of British Council Sri Lanka David Maynard, stressed that conserving the environment was a high priority for his organisation; "Protecting the environment is something that we all should be working towards. Sri Lanka is lucky to be endowed with a great biodiversity, which includes some great examples of trees. Large cities are often not known for parks and trees but in Colombo there are some beautiful examples. The British Council is passionate about raising awareness of protecting the environment and sharing stories of wonderful trees to create more interest and understanding in people about the environment. We are delighted to be partnering with the Carbon Consulting Company on their initiative to promote conservation of trees through the ‘Tree of the Year’ competition."
The Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association (SLGGA) programs cover a wide variety of subjects: the conservation and protection of the environment being one of them. Throughout the years the Girl Guides have organized and participated in many environmental programs such as the Earth Day Ambassadors, Environmental Star Rating project in schools, which emphasize the importance of a green economy.
More information about the Tree of the year – Sri Lanka contest, its rules and guidelines as well as application forms can be found, on its official website www.treeoftheyear.net