Researchers' Forum

University of Ruhuna

Environmental Researchers' Forum (ERF) was established as a student society in October 2017 at the Department of Geography, University of Ruhuna. The objectives of the forum are, to establish and promote an environmental research culture among undergraduate students as well as university academics; to develop research based relationships among internal and external institutions and individuals; and to awake and empower the general public through providing and sharing information and knowledge related to natural resources and environment. 

Tree plantation campaign

Environmental Researchers’ Forum (ERF) conducted a tree plantation campaign at the Wellamadama main university premises on January 26, 2018 with the participation of many students, staff members and official of the forest department. More than 100 plants have been planted and there was a huge interest among students towards this. The chief guest of the event was the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The ERF website was launched by Senior Professor P. Hewage, the Head of the Department of Geography. Dr Pradeep Nalaka Ranasinghe was the key speaker at the event. In his speech, he stressed that the major disaster of this era is the commercialization of environmental activists. It is, therefore, a burning need to be involved in environmental conservation activities in various ways, as groups, individuals and as future citizens, he further mentioned.

Relationship between Tourism and Environment

Tourism has become a well-established, development and environmental management approach at the global level. However, in the Sri Lankan context, tourism industry, conservation and environmental protection do not co-exist. Although we use the terms of ECOTOURISM, GREEN TOURISM, NATURE TOURISM, ECOFRIENDLY TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM, the real objectives of these concepts are not in practice. The tourism industry is needed to be developed as a most suitable and reliable approach towards community development and environmental conservation.  

Loss of beauty: A threat of bio-piracy

The term, ‘bio-piracy’ is used to outline the practices of commercially exploiting naturally occurring biochemical or genetic material, especially by obtaining patents that restrict their future use, while failing to pay fair compensation to the community from which they originate. These activities have become a serious risk for the protection and conservation of nature in peripheral countries.

As a biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka has a huge threat of bio-piracy and it exists as a silent crime. Unfortunately, some individual researchers, scholars, government agencies and universities have supported to these practices in Sri Lanka. As a result, we have already lost many species and the related traditional knowledge. Binara (Exacum trinervium), an endemic species in Sri Lanka, is a classic example for the loss of natural beauty.

Zimbabwe wildlife industry welcomes China ban on ivory trade

HARARE, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's wildlife conservation industry has welcomed China's ban on ivory trade but stressed on the need for strong enforcement for the measure to be effective.The ban entered into force on Dec. 31, 2017, in China, once the world's biggest market for ivory.Tom Milliken of Traffic International, a global wildlife trade monitoring network, told Xinhua Friday that the effectiveness of the ban was hinged on strict enforcement of the law.

Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems

How serious is the loss of species globally? Are material cycles in an ecosystem with few species changed? In order to find this out, the "Jena Experiment" was established in 2002, one of the largest biodiversity experiments worldwide. Professor Wolfgang Weisser from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) reports on two unexpected findings of the long-term study: Biodiversity influences almost half the processes in the ecosystem, and intensive grassland management does not result in higher yields than high biodiversity.

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