Dilmah promotes ‘Connectivity Conservation’ linking landscapes, nature and people

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dilmah Conservation will host Protected Area and World Heritage Specialist Peter Shadie for a public lecture on Wednesday, 27 June at the Wimalasurendra Auditorium of the Institution of Engineers from 6.00 pm as part of their Bioregional Initiative.

Several notable conservation specialists have been hosted in Sri Lanka during the past as part of Dilmah’s efforts to create public awareness on conservation.

Peter Shadie has working experience in the environment and conservation field for over 30 years focusing on natural and cultural heritage conservation and protected areas. He has a career spanning 20 years with the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, a protected area and heritage management agency within Australia.

He worked as a Park Ranger, Park Superintendent, District Manager, Regional Operations Manager and within a number of other managerial positions at a senior level within the agency. He has extensive experience in the establishment, planning and management of protected areas in a wide range of different circumstances.

In 1999, Peter joined IUCN’s (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) 5th World Parks Congress as Executive Director to spearhead the Conference which took place in Durban in 2003. With nearly 3,000 delegates from 160 countries, the Congress represented the largest gathering of protected area specialists ever assembled. Peter continued his work within IUCN’s global Protected Areas Program building experience in a wide variety of protected area issues at the global level. This includes the integration of protected area issues within international agreements and conventions relevant to environment and development, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In August 2006, he took up the position as Head of IUCN’s Protected Areas Program in Asia working across 23 countries. The Regional Program has the aim of strengthening the capacity for protected area establishment and management through knowledge generation and dissemination; capacity building and collaboration.

Peter has extensive experience working in Korea to ensure conservation inside the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone). The work program of Dilmah Conservation addresses salient issues within the conservation sector. In Sri Lanka tea plantations being semi-natural environments potentially play a major role in the conservation of biodiversity. Recent developments of product diversification, agro forestry, and protection of natural areas add to that role with certainty. In total, some 20% of the estate areas are under natural vegetation or plantation forestry in Sri Lanka. Through its Mainstreaming Sustainability Initiative, Dilmah has been instrumental in ensuring the sustainability in Dilmah’s tea plantations. This includes biodiversity assessments to document endemic fauna and flora and carrying out bioremediation methods to address poor soil conditions in Dilmah plantations. Peter will address some of the issues related to protecting natural ecosystems and conducting activities to restore degraded ecosystems to ensure healthy agricultural systems. His presentation will cover areas related to private sector involvement in large scale landscape conservation projects and working with the Government and civil society in this regard as well as explore the possibilities of how local communities can benefit, both directly and indirectly from such initiatives. The lecture is open to the public. All are welcome!

Dilmah Conservation was initiated in 2007 by the Dilmah Group to incorporate environmental conservation efforts into the MJF Charitable Foundation, which focuses on social justice. Dilmah Conservation works towards the sustainable use of the environment in partnership with other organisations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN. The pledge made by Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando to make business a matter of human service is deeply ingrained in the work carried out by Dilmah Conservation. For additional information visit our website at www.dilmahconservation.org.