Statement by the Chairperson
EFL is delighted to be marking our 40th anniversary, as the oldest public interest litigation firm in Asia. This is a significant milestone in EFL’s journey.
When EFL was incorporated in 1981 it filled a much needed gap of combining the science and law in efforts to seek justice for nature. Since its inception, EFL has come a long way and today with the development drive in Sri Lanka, EFL’s role in conservation efforts remains relevant.
I would like to express my heartiest appreciation of the founding members: Ravi Algama, Lalanath de Silva, Thusitha Paranagama, Arjun Guneratne, Aravinda de Silva, R.L de Alwis, Charles Rohan de Alwis, Dilshan Siddique and Irangani Serasinghe. Their innovative thinking and fearless spirit continues to inspire generations of conservationists in Sri Lanka.
EFL has had its share of challenges over the course of years and it is a testament to all the members, chairpersons, directors and officers who have tirelessly worked to bring the organisation to this level that we are able to celebrate its 40th year. To our current staff, partners and friends – thank you for your support and continued commitment to EFL. We hope to share the celebration of 40th anniversary with you through the various events we have planned.
I look forward to the exciting projects and initiatives of EFL!
Dr. Eric Wikramanayake,
Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited
It is a pleasure and a privilege to write this message in celebration of the 40th anniversary of EFL.
My journey with EFL began not so long ago and I am honored to be associated with an organization so dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural environments. EFL boasts of a rich 40-year legacy of impactful actions, opportunities optimized, and challenges overcome through sheer will and tenacity of spirit.
EFL has, throughout its history had three thrust areas: litigation, advocacy, and investigation. The teams have collectively worked on bringing together several projects to conserve protected areas, lobbied on environmentally unsustainable projects, concluded complex investigations, participated in consensus building efforts with like-minded organizations and filed action on selected matters related to forest conservation, bottom trawling, and mining.
One of the key achievements of EFL over the years is an unblemished credibility regarding the science and legal technical input and quality of the content and outputs. I vouch that this commitment to quality and dedication to pursue results will continue.
Currently EFL is engaged in 11 public interest cases, handling over 15 investigations, and managing over 4 key projects on conservation with local and international partners. We are extremely proud of this body of work and hopeful that this will continue to grow. These achievements have been possible thanks to the 15 staff members and the overall guidance of the chairperson Dr. Eric Wikramayake and the other board members comprising of: Ruskan Jayewardana, Sevvandi Jayakody, Nigel Bartholomeuz, Manori Gunewardene, Deshini Abeygunawardene, Anandalal Nanayakkara, Shalini Ratwatte.
An organization grows and ages, and there are ebbs and flows just like in human life. Currently, EFL is at an exciting juncture of moving towards the next growth phase and we are proud to be involved in paving the way to make EFL stronger and take its legacy forward.
EFL has been extremely fortunate over the past 40 years to receive the generosity and support of well-wishers, professionals and members who have given their personal property, time, professional input, and effort to build and sustain the organization. On this occasion I would like to express my gratitude towards the former chairpersons for their contribution and efforts to uplift the organization: Dr. Lalanath de Silva, Mr. Ravi Algama, Dr. Lalith Wikramanayake, Mrs. Sharmini Ratwatte, Dr. Mario Gomez and Mr. Uditha Egalahewa PC. EFL in the past 40 years has engaged with international, regional, and local partners, and international organizations, development organizations such as UNEP, UN REDD, UNDP, European Union in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, IUCN, The Asia Foundation, HIVOS, Ford Foundation, EDLC, ADM Capital Foundation and corporate partners such as the Nations Trust Bank, DIMO and John Keells to name a few. On this special occasion I wish to place on record our gratitude to all such named and unnamed contributors throughout the past four decades.
I also wish to thank the members of the board who are committed to the principles of volunteerism and dedication and all the staff members for their dedication and hard work in our fight to ensure justice for nature!