2019 Mar 15
Cricket – the nation’s beloved sport!
Cricket is an important factor in everyday life for most Lankans. We often talk about it – be it at school, work, or home. During the right season, you’ll be swept up in inescapable conversations related to the sport, whether you happen to enjoy it or not. And while this sport is an essential part of everyday living, have you ever stopped to wonder that maybe it comes at too far of an ecological cost? Just how many trees are used up in manufacturing those crucial cricket bats itself?
As Sri Lanka joined the rest of the world in facing several ecological issues, many Lankan conservationists have not only taken to rehabilitating wildlife but reforesting the trees we lose on a daily basis. Reforesting is exactly how we can combat the problem we find ourselves facing right now.
Sampath Bank PLC and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation joined hands to inaugurate the Earth Watchmen Initiative – a program that intends to not only plant 2 million plants in line with the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but also create awareness amongst Lankans of the impact this sport can have on the environment.
The Earth Watchmen Initiative was launched by His Excellency, President Maithripala Sirisena on 21st January, where the first set of samplings were planted around the University of Jaffna’s Department of Engineering and Agriculture in Kilinochchi with other representatives from the Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment.
Similarly, the organizers intend to direct their reforestation attempts to other state run universities, schools and District Secretariats so as to encourage the idea of green corridors across the nation as well as inspire the youth of the country on the importance of this cause.
Speaking on their commitment to this initiative, Mr. Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy General Manager – Consumer Banking, Sampath Bank PLC states “As a responsible corporate citizen, Sampath Bank has always been committed to the cause of environment conservation. In line with this, we are delighted to partner with Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation on the Earth Watchmen initiative. As a first step, we have extended our support as the exclusive partner of the inaugural tree plantation drive in Kilinochchi. Continuing to work together with the organizers on this, we also seek to raise awareness amongst our customers and team members and enlist their support too.”
On the creation of this extraordinary project, Mr. Saranga Wijeyarathne, Director General, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation said “The Earth Watchmen initiative was envisaged as a concerted, long term effort to improve the green cover around the island, brought to life with the support of the government as well businesses and individuals. We would like to thank Sampath Bank for believing in our cause and supporting us right from the onset. Having come on board as the exclusive sponsor for our inaugural tree plantation drive, their endorsement is sure to help us garner greater support for this initiative.”
This is not the first time that Sampath Bank has expressed their environmental concerns. Beginning with “A Minute for the Environment – Parisarayata Vinadiyak” in 1987, the organization has had quite the history when it comes to supporting initiatives such as this, ranging from restoring tanks in the country’s dry zone under the Sampath “Wewata Jeewayak” program to partnering with Sri Lanka (BSL) on the restoration of degraded fern land in Halgahawala, Opatha and the development of a biodiversity credit accrual system for Sri Lanka. The bank also funds/supports various other initiatives, while nurturing the empowerment of green entrepreneurs and inventors through their Sampath Green Inventor competition.
It is exactly campaigns such as this that Sri Lanka is in desperate need of and the Earth Watchmen Initiative is an incredible opportunity to give back to our environment the countless trees we have taken away in the past to manufacture our equipment. It can start with you – join the cause and spread awareness. ‘Plant a sapling, plant a tree to pay homage to the one that wrought your bat’.