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European Union supports UNOPS and IFCin educating on waste segregation to mark World Environment Day

Supported by the European Union (EU), the World Environment Day 2015 was marked by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, through a series of awareness raising and community participation activities in Batticaloa, Mannar and Vavuniya districts.

These activities were implemented with the financial assistance that is being provided through the European Union Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP), with a total financial envelope of EUR 60 million.

The programme aims at supporting the Government of Sri Lanka’s thrust for economic and social development in seven conflict-affected districts covering half a million people.

The events were organized to raise awareness of public on issues relating to environment protection and the importance of the environment in sustainable tourism.

The actions were centred on the global theme of “Seven Billion Dreams.

One Planet. Consume with Care” and the national environment day priority set out by Central Environment Authority (CEA) on solid waste management.

The UNOPS and IFC teams worked closely with the CEA and relevant local authorities in organizing these activities.

The activities complemented the nationwide advocacy campaign carried out by the CEA on the importance of Waste Management, which is now a major challenge in the country.

In Batticaloa, the teams supported a series of events that included clean-up programs, tree planting, drawing competitions and painting murals about environment protection on walls in several public locations in the district.

Students from two schools took part in painting the walls of their schools to depict challenges in environment protection.

A handicraft exhibition with items prepared by school children from recyclable items was organized in partnership with the Zonal Education Department of Batticaloa.

The children were asked to use typical and identifiable waste to produce something beautiful and useful.

The children used this activity to highlight the value of waste, by creating useful items from what most would consider unusable material.

For example, one child produced a meter to measure rainfall using plastic bottles.

Activities in Vavuniya organized in partnership with the Vavuniya Urban Council and CEA saw students from six schools take part in painting murals insix public locations of the UC bazaar area, including the new fish market and bus stand.

In Mannar, the teamsorganized environment related murals to be painted on walls of the Government Agent’s office near the main bus stand. UNOPS and IFC engaged with three orphanages in Mannar to receivedesigns for the murals, and a professional artist worked with the children to turn these into wall paintings.

The children engaged with visitors from the GA’s office, RDA, CEA, ACLG, UC and the general public to discuss the depicted environment related topics.

In both districts, awareness campaigns and community discussions were held on Environment Day themes including sustainable consumption, waste management and related interventions of the EU-SDDP programme.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Sanasa Development Bank, and The Palmyrah House contributed to the programmes in Batticaloa, Vavuniya and Mannar respectively, providing gifts for the participating children.

These activities have contributed to improving public awareness on environmental issues, especially sustainable consumption and solid waste management.

This advocacy campaign also highlighted to the communities the importance of sound environmental management for economic activities such as sustainable tourism.

An important part of this campaign was to educate the population on their responsibility to contribute to waste management and environmental protection.

Under the EU-SDDP framework, UNOPS is contributing to the overall programme objective through the construction and rehabilitation of social infrastructure and specific capacity building activities in Batticaloa, Mannar and Vavuniya.

IFC is helping to support entrepreneurship and expansion of existing businesses while improving the business environment.

Last modified on Monday, 22 June 2015 15:28