Justice for Nature

Since 1981

Who we are and
What we do

Prior to the 1980’s, there was a long felt need for an organisation solely dedicated towards safeguarding Sri Lanka’s environment. The idea was stumbled upon by a group of friends – four law students, a budding zoologist, anthropologist, accountant, mathematician and an actress – who would regularly band together to protest against the misuse and abuse of the country’s natural resources, and spearheaded campaigns to protect the environment through litigation. Thus, in 1981 the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL) was born, and later incorporated under the Companies Act with a share capital, in order to have legal standing before the Courts of Law in Sri Lanka.

Important Milestones:

1981

EFL was established as a “non- profit company limited by liability”, under the Companies Act.

1984

EFL filed its first legal case in the Supreme Court, against the Director General of Wildlife, during the Gal Oya National Park Encroachment Case.

1988

  1. EFL received first grant from the Environment Liaison Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. Established the Environmental Mediation Centre, with support from The Asia Foundation.

1989

EFL becomes a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

1994

EFL was registered as a Non- Governmental Organization, under the Department of Social Services.

Following its first legal case in the Supreme Court, EFL handled over 200 cases, achieving significant victories in the Eppawala Phosphate Case, the Kandalama Hotel Case and the Galle Face Green Case. Two critical cases handled by EFL include the Air Pollution Case, where EFL convinced the government to make vehicle emissions mandatory as well as the Case on the Protection of Wetland Ecosystems, which resulted in a halt in the filling of the Muthurajawala Wetland, and initiated the establishment of the National Wetlands Policy. EFL was also an intervenient party in two noteworthy Supreme Court cases; Maha Oya Sand Mining Case and the Noise Pollution Case, which have both concluded successfully.

 

Currently, EFL is handling 3 major cases; the construction of roads within Wipattu National Park, the protection of watershed forests to mitigate threats by climate change and the impending water crisis in the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve and the Udawalawe Case. EFL is also in the process of lobbying for the initiation of stricter industrial pollution controls, and water quality monitoring along important rivers.

 

As an organization that started out small, inclusive of seven years of volunteer work, during which EFL operated from the garage of one of its motivated and dedicated founding members – EFL has now become an organisation that has protected and conserved Sri Lanka’s environment through legal and scientific means, as well as managed to influence policy making and foster good governance in the country. EFL reiterates the need to protect and conserve the environment, calling on the people of Sri Lanka to rise up and become catalysts for change, to protect and preserve our environment for future generations.

We have specialties and fields of expertise

Environmental Law & Governance

Ecology & Wildlife Conservation

Environmental Awareness

Sustainable Development

A Future in Sustainable Development

Sri Lanka is now on a path of ambitious development goals. Therefore we must also keep in mind that economic development is supported and sustained by natural ecosystems and the goods and services from them. Our ecosystems also harbor unique and irreplaceable biodiversity that have evolved over millennia, and this is part of our heritage. EFL’s role is to ensure that this biological heritage is also conserved as part of the national economic development plans.

Eric Wikramanayake, Ph.D
Chairperson

Board of Directors

  • Eric Wikramanayake, Ph.D
    Eric Wikramanayake, Ph.D Chairperson
  • Rukshan Jayewardene
    Rukshan Jayewardene Director
  • Manori Gunawardena
    Manori Gunawardena Director
  • Nigel Bartholomeusz
    Nigel Bartholomeusz Director
  • Vajira Wijegunawardane
    Vajira Wijegunawardane Director
  • Deshini Abeywardena
    Deshini Abeywardena Director
  • Shalini Ratwatte
    Shalini Ratwatte Director
  • Dr. Sewandi Jayakody
    Dr. Sewandi Jayakody Director
  • Shehara De Silva
    Shehara De Silva Director

Staff

  • Mala Wimalagoonaratne
    Mala Wimalagoonaratne Head of Accounts & Administration
  • Kumudu Dissanayake
    Kumudu Dissanayake Accounts Officer
  • Chamila Weerathunghe
    Chamila Weerathunghe Chief Operations Officer
  • Gayani Hewawasan
    Gayani Hewawasan Head of Legal
  • Milindu Tissera
    Milindu Tissera Project Coordinator
  • Dinal Samarasinghe
    Dinal Samarasinghe Research & Projects Officer
  • Meghal Perera
    Meghal Perera Project Coordinator
  • Dhiya Sathananthan
    Dhiya Sathananthan Project Coordinator
  • Piyumi Kalyanawansa
    Piyumi Kalyanawansa Environmental Investigations Officer
  • Rishan Yaheya
    Rishan Yaheya Projects Officer
  • Dishane Hewavithana
    Dishane Hewavithana Research and Projects Officer

Independent Researchers

  • Anya Ratnayaka
    Anya Ratnayaka Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project
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TEAM MEMBERS
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PROJECTS
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LEGAL CASES
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INVESTIGATIONS

Current organisational affiliations

EFL has a long history of working with national and international organisations for the protection of Sri Lanka’s biological history