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Proud to be a beach saver: Let’s start from our home

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Sri-Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is blessed with a scenic beachscape all around the island. As a traveller during data collection for the Coast Conservation Management Plan in 2004, I got an opportunity to explore the inherent beauty of the Lankan beaches, recollects Archt. Russell Dandeniya. The extent to which the beautiful beaches are polluted is appalling and beyond justifiable. This has resulted in a timely awareness program initiated by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA). 

Parallel to Environment Day on 5 June, a beach cleaning program is organised to be held on Sunday, 3 June at the Moratuwa Beach. This cleaning program will be geared by Architects fraternity, along with the Municipal Council Moratuwa, students of University of Moratuwa and City School of Architecture, members of SLIA Sports Committee and Green Building Committee of SLIA.

There are number of programs to educate the general public about waste segregation, recycling and adoption of 3R concept to manage waste meaningfully. In addition to this, distribution of composting units, waste bins, reusable bags and financial support are practiced in many places to combat this problem effectively along with legal tools such as fines in critical cases. However, the key driving forces to control this problem are self-dedication and commitment. Understanding the severity of the problem and reduction of waste generation at individual level will make a strong impact in the long run. Therefore, as the Chairman elected by ACSR, Architects Asia Regional Council – ARCASIA and Chairman, CSR and DSU – SLIA, Archt. Russell Dandeniya requests to, ‘Think small and sharp & resolve then and there’. This would help to solve this national issue. 

Waste segregation and management must be effectively handled at household level. Due to mismanaged waste problem, Sri Lanka was ranked as 5th in 2015 under world’s beach plastic offenders list. This is an important concern to be addressed at a national level.

‘Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints’ (Chief Seattle). Hence, it’s vital to learn to explore and appreciate the ocean and related environment without destroying the natural beauty. Archt. Russell Dandeniya humbly requests everyone to use natural resources wisely, reduce the damage caused to the environment and refrain from adding unsustainable substances to the environment. 


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