Biodiversity Sri Lanka, initiated by Dilmah Conservation in partnership with IUCN and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, hosted a panel of international and national experts on an open discussion on the impact of tourism on the environment.
This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity raises the subject of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Biodiversity Sri Lanka cast the spotlight on the relevance of the topic in the Sri Lankan and the global context of an expert panel discussion, marking this event yesterday.
Sri Lanka as a country has a long way to go before it hits the right balance between tourism and biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity Sri Lanka, initiated by Dilmah Conservation in partnership with IUCN and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, convened on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity 2017 to promote a better understanding of truly sustainable tourism.
Sri Lanka's private sector is its engine of growth. However, the combination of sustaining high economic growth rates and improving the lives of marginalised communities whilst not compromising on environmental conservation and restoration is one of the biggest challenges facing the country and the Asia region as a whole.The panel discussion on Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism, organised by Biodiversity Sri Lanka, a Dilmah Conservation initiative is another attempt to promote respect towards the environment as responsible business entities.
Mr Prema Cooray, Chairman of the Sri Lankan Convention Bureau initiates the discussion of environmentally responsible tourism and the need for Sri Lanka as a country with a high percentage of protected areas, to strike the right balance for environmentally sustainable tourism.
There was a boom in the Sri Lankan tourism sector with nearly 2 million visitors entering the island country every year. In the wake of this inflow of tourism, there is a pressing need to ensure that rampant economic growth does not become an obstacle to environmental protection.
Biodiversity Sri Lanka hosted a diverse and informative discussion on 'Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism', marking the International Day for Biological Diversity 2017 with an expert panel consisting of Maeve Nightingale from IUCN Asia, Environmental Expert Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, Representative of Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle, Dilan Bandara and Madhura de Silva of the Wildlife Conservation Society-Galle.
Maeve Nightingale from IUCN Asia from IUCN Asia, assessed the impacts of coral reef tourism in Thailand, offering a prismatic view of how unregulated tourism could impact the local environment and livelihood of the community.