Biodiversity Sri Lanka Chairman Dilhan Fernando (left) and Sampath Bank PLC Group Chief Human Resource Officer Aruna Jayasekera signing the MoU
Sampath Bank, one of the nation’s most innovative national banks, recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL). In a significant change to typical conservation initiatives the MOU will allow each organisation to work in concert with other, state and private sector, partners towards the restoration of degraded fern land in Halgahawala, Opatha and the development of a biodiversity credit accrual system for Sri Lanka. The MOU was signed by Biodiversity Sri Lanka Chairman Dilhan Fernando and Sampath Bank Group Chief Human Resource Officer Aruna Jayasekera.
“Sampath Bank is a national icon that has always worked to steward the country towards a brighter future. This is why we are proud to have them on-board this landmark partnership that will have a significant impact on the future of Sri Lanka,” said Biodiversity Sri Lanka Chairman Dilhan Fernando. “This unique collaboration between the state sector, private sector and NGOs is the future of conservation. It allows us to tackle multiple environmental challenges and change the sustainability landscape of the country to deliver a national outcome that secures Sri Lanka’s future for generations to come.”
This latest MOU further showcases Sampath Bank’s commitment to the environment and creating a green future for the nation. The five year long arrangement will allow the Bank to fund BSL’s pilot project in the Kanneliya Conservation Forest as well as work closely with partners to monitor its progress based on ecological and biological indicators.
The first phase of this project has produced the biodiversity baseline and management plan for the degraded forest patch of 10ha in Halgahawala, Opatha. The project will restore this patch of highly degraded rainforest using principles of restoration ecology to enhance its ecological functions, habitat quality, species diversity and its capacity to provide biodiversity and ecosystem services in close approximation to what prevails at the nearby rainforest.
In parallel to the restoration, the project will also develop a biodiversity credit accrual system using the insights derived, with the aim of assigning a unit value for enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem services. The ultimate goal of the project will be to support the development of policies and tools to utilise the accrued credits in a sustainable manner in consultation with national agencies.
A secondary benefit of the project is that it will boost the local economy by providing employment opportunities to adjacent communities.
Commenting on this historic partnership Sampath Bank PLC Group Chief Human Resource Officer Aruna Jayasekera said, “As one of Sri Lanka’s leading national banks that has been serving the masses for over three decades, we see it as our duty to proactively tackle challenges that may adversely affect our nation. And we strongly believe that the environment and the diverse number of life it sustains will play a key role in Sri Lanka’s future sustainability. Hence we are proud to partner with Biodiversity Sri Lanka in this novel initiative and look forward to the findings it produces.”
Established in 2012 Biodiversity Sri Lanka is a national platform entirely owned and driven by the private sector. BSL’s overall mandate is to help raise awareness on biodiversity and sustainability issues amongst the Sri Lankan business community. BSL has the ultimate aim of ensuring that a majority of Sri Lankan companies will eventually be on a sustainable ecological footing with vastly reduced negative impact on the country’s biodiversity.
Established in 1987 Sampath Bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to their constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. Their unique tailor-made solutions, superior services and convenience of access have allowed Sampath Bank to further differentiate themselves from the competition and make them the bank of choice for many in Sri Lanka.