EFL conducted the first of a limited series of workshops titled, “Awareness on Sustainable Tourism” for the staff of the Columbus Tours (PVT) Ltd., on the 13th of February, 2020. The theme of the first workshop was the “Protected area network of Sri Lanka and responsible touristic practices”.
The overview of the protected areas, locations of significant protected areas in Sri Lanka and their biodiversity value were presented by Dr. Chaturangi Wickramaratne, the Head of Science at EFL. Bhagya Wickremasinghe, the Head of Legal at EFL spoke about the applicable legal framework that protects, these areas, the prohibited and permitted activities that can be practiced within these Protected Areas, and the practical difficulties in enforcing the law.
Zaineb Akbarally, the Senior Science Officer at EFL spoke about the irresponsible behaviors of tourists in Protected Areas with a special focus on the Yala National Park. The objective of these workshops is to raise awareness among the tour operators about the ecological importance of these Protected Areas and how significant they are for the countries’ biological diversity. Also, how they can play a role in protecting these areas, and it’s fauna and flora by educating the travelers who in turn will be more responsible while visiting these Protected Areas.