Biodiversity Sri Lanka launches ‘Life – A Compendium of Biodiversity Stories in Hospitality’

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 01:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BSL Chairman, Board of Directors Dilhan C. Fernando with office bearers 

From left: Dole Lanka Managing Director Carlos Antunez, Hatton National Bank Chief Transformation Officer/Deputy General Manager Chiranthi Cooray, moderator Shiran Fernando, SriLankan Airlines CEO Vipula Gunatilleka, Ministry of Irrigation Secretary Anura Dissanayake and Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company CEO Dilhan C. Fernando

BSL’s 2nd publication was launch and 1st copy presented by BSL Chairman, Board of Directors Dilhan C. Fernando to incumbent Director and CEO of BSL, Prema Cooray website being launched by UNDP Resident Representative Robert Juhkam. Virtusa Vice President Denver De Zylva (centre) and BSL Chairman, Board of Directors Dilhan C. Fernando looks on

BSL Chairman, Board of Directors Dilhan C. Fernando presenting the newly-launched book to writer Niresh Eliyathambi

BSL Advisor Shiranee Yasaratne


‘Life – A Compendium of Biodiversity Stories in Hospitality’, Biodiversity Sri Lanka’s (BSL) second publication, written by Niresh Eliathamby, with a guest article by Srilal Miththapala, was ceremonially launched at BSL’s Fifth Annual CEO Forum held on 17 September at Ramada Colombo. 

The publication consists of 17 examples of best practices in environment and sustainability aiming to encourage businesses that understand and embrace shared commitment to protect the island’s unique biodiversity. 

Biodiversity Sri Lanka dedicated the publication and presented the first copy to BSL incumbent Director and Chief Executive Officer and Rainforest Ecolodge Ltd. Chairman Prema Cooray for his lifelong service to the Tourism and Hospitality industry and the depth and vision displayed in pioneering the establishment and operationalisation of BSL in its formative years. 

Cooray, a past Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, counts well over 30 years’ experience in travel and tourism. He led the Hotel Sector of Aitken Spence for several years making a significant contribution in making Aitken Spence a leading player in the development of resorts both in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

BSL Advisor Shiranee Yasaratne, speaking at the launch, stated that the publication is being released in the new norm defined by COVID-19, in which there is remarkable clarity around the importance of biodiversity, especially in the Tourism and Hospitality sector, which is a key contributor to the nation’s economy. “We have experienced the vulnerability of humans and the resilience of nature.” 

“We need the protection of nature more than nature needs us. That knowledge is changing the mindset of every customer in every sphere, and guest expectations in hospitality have changed as much. The examples of best practice that we share in this book aim to encourage businesses that understand and embrace our shared commitment to protecting biodiversity and to sustainability, whilst also inspiring those who seek to build the foundations.

“Aligning with biodiversity and nature today gives us all the option of changing what is currently the greatest threat to business as usual – into an opportunity. We hope that this book inspires you to seize that opportunity. We do hope you enjoy our effort and are inspired by our island’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity and become keenly aware of the measures being taken to protect it. The book will be available for sale at all leading bookshops from October.” 

The first copies of the book were presented to the companies which contributed with content – Aitken Spence Hotel Managements PLC, Aliya Resort and Spa, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Jetwing Hotels Ltd., Resplendent Ceylon Ltd., Saraii Village, Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd., The Rainforest Ecolodge Ltd., the Tokyo Cement Group and Walkers Tours Ltd.  Aitken Spence Travels supported layout costs while BSL’s Initiating Partner, Dilmah Conservation covered the printing costs of this publication. Dilmah Conservation and Dilmah Tea has supported and collaborated with Biodiversity Sri Lanka throughout its ventures and shared its successes. The 244-page publication contains 17 stories from 11 companies with colour photography and was laid out by Kasun Pradeepa of Wild Studios.

The books will be made available for sale at all leading bookstores from the month of October. 

Pix by Ruwan Walpola