DIMO, John Keells Holdings’ Cinnamon Wild and EFL teamed up to donate a patrol vehicle and fuel supply to aid the conservation efforts of the Yala National Park. A MoU was signed by DIMO Chairman Ranjith Pandithage, John Keells Holdings Executive Vice President and Sector Head – Sri Lankan Resorts Jayantissa Kehelpannala and Minister of Wildlife Conservation Vijith Vijithamuni Soyza, in the presence of Ministry of Wildlife Director General H.D. Rathnayake and Yala Park Warden S. Saranga.
EFL Operations Director Vimukthi Weeratunga oversaw the proceedings that took place at Cinnamon Wild Yala and will hereafter monitor the use of the vehicle and check the progress made by the team at Yala. This is the first private sector contribution of its kind, where two leading companies in the country, DIMO and JKH, have made a joint investment towards the conservation of Yala, one of Sri Lanka’s most important wilderness areas.
Considered a wildlife haven for its incredible biodiversity and renowned for some of the best leopard sightings in the country, Yala has recently been under stress due to the amount of visitors flocking to the park. Owing to limited resources, wildlife authorities have struggled to conduct regular monitoring and anti-poaching patrols within the park. In an effort to assist this monitoring and patrol process, DIMO donated a TATA Xenon 3-litre Euro standard emission control cab, while John Keells Hotels agreed to supply 200 litres of fuel on a monthly basis to support the patrolling operations and the Environment Foundation of Sri Lanka will provide logistical support and oversee the progress of the patrols.
JKH Head of Ecotourism and Special Projects Chitral Jayatilake stated: “This patrol vehicle and the support provided through this private sector contribution will help park authorities conduct the necessary monitoring and anti-poaching patrols, instil the necessary discipline within the park and ensure its overall protection and conservation.”