Dilmah Conservation initiated nature club for the youth of Sri Lanka with a view to increase interest in nature and conservation activities and foster the next generation of environmentalists.
Recent years have demonstrated a growing disparity between man and nature, especially among younger generations. A vast majority of today’s adolescence spend their time indoors, using computers, watching TV or playing video games. Exacerbating this issue, is the ceaseless “rat race” which heightens the pressure to achieve financial and academic success and reach top positions in society. Thus nature and environment loses priority and is driven to the back of everyone’s mind.
This disconnection is one of the main reasons for the notable lack of interest in the environment and in nature conservation. Nationwide surveys have demonstrated that people who have had personal experiences with nature showed more concern, respect and responsibility towards it. Youth who have spent more time outdoors and are familiar with nature were twice as likely to see themselves as strong environmentalists and were significantly more likely to express concern about issues such as water pollution, air pollution, climate change and the condition of the environment as a whole.
Exposing youth to nature is therefore a crucial step in getting the next generation to care about and act on environmental issues. Furthermore, regular interaction with the natural environment also provides a wide expanse of other benefits. Scientific evidence indicates that direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and mental health as well as normal child development.
To address these issues, Dilmah Conservation launched a nature club, the One Earth Nature Club, which offers youth nature related educational programs, lectures and capacity building workshops. These programmes and activities are aimed at nurturing interest in nature and hope to offer youth the basic knowledge and skills necessary to become an environmental scientist.
The Nature Club is open to Sri Lankan’s between the ages of 13 and 30 and those interested in joining need only fill in the online application form. Information on club events will be posted on the One Earth Nature Club Facebook Group.
By initiating this club, Dilmah Conservation primarily aims to bridge the gap between people and nature through educational programs such as field excursions, workshops and lectures. The club hopes to instill a respect and interest in nature in the younger generation and educate them on the importance of biodiversity and the natural environment while contributing to their physical and mental health and development.