CIMA Global President Keith Luck Handover the Sponsorship Cheque to Rotary District Governor Sri Lankan and Maldives Gowri Rajan (3rd from left) Others from left Rotary Special Project Chairman Dion Schoorman, Rotary Tree Project Chairman Gehan Dalpethado, CIMA South Asia,Middle-East and North Africa Regional Director Bradley Emerson and CIMA Country Head Radley Stephen
By Inshira Shainaz
CIMA Sri Lanka announced the organisation’s participation in Rotary Sri Lanka’s flagship initiative, One Million Tree Stories Project under the patronage of CIMA Global President Keith Luck, on Tuesday.
Addressing the media gathering in Colombo CIMA South Asia, Middle-East and North Africa Regional Director Bradley Emerson stated, “CSR and commitment to environment protection has been on the corporate agenda for decades. It is time we move these statements away from annual reports to action and demonstrate we are truly committed to greenery and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
“This is a project which is growing way faster than the growth of a tree; this initiative will provide an opportunity for our students and members to really plant a tree and consciously contribute to ensure a greener Sri Lanka for generation to come,” he added.
CIMA will partner Rotary Sri Lanka to initially support planting 5,000 trees with the support of students and will endeavour to plant a further 20,000 with the support of corporate and training partners. The trees will be planted in a specific geographic area with the partnership and guidance of the Ministry of Irrigation and Agrarian services and the Department of Forestry. The areas selected are the banks of the six key reservoirs in the Kurunegala district which is a protected area and each tree will be geo tagged.
Rotary District 3220 District Governor Gowri Rajan said, “One Million Trees is a very unique project because we had tree planting campaigns all over the country. But we differ mainly because these trees are not just going to be planted and we don’t allow them to die we will take care of them. It’s not going to be planted randomly; we have already identified a land in Kurunegala district where nine different types of trees will be planted to suit the area.”
“Today we are engaging in a private public partnership to enhance our value of service to our society. We are delighted that CIMA has come on board with us to support our initiative and we are sure this will be a catalyst for the organisation to also pledge their support,” she added.
Keith Luck who is visiting Sri Lanka at present signed the agreement on behalf of CIMA. Rotary Sri Lanka, in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism and the Hatton National Bank, began this initiative to address the deforestation of Sri Lanka, which is one of the most serious environmental issues affecting the nation. According to a UN country report, Sri Lanka’s forest coverage has reduced drastically from 53% in 1990 to 29% in 2012.
Pix by Upul Abayasekara