|Thursday, 5 June 2003|
by Florence Wickramage
World Environment Day is celebrated today under the theme "Water- two billion people are dying for it".
The two-day National celebrations under the theme "Water - the Source of life" is being held at the Vihara Maha Devi Open-air Theatre in Colombo under the partnership of Government, Non-Government and Private Sector institutions. The celebrations organised by the World Environment Day Celebration Network are coordinated by the National Environmental Farmer Network.
The aim of the two-day celebrations is to impart to the general public the message on the importance of conserving water which is the foundation of bio diversity.
The National celebrations will include an exhibition show-casing work carried on by organisations receiving grants from the United Nations Development Programme/GEF-Small Grants Scheme on both days. It will also feature local technological developments on water, culture, expertise and recent research work. One hundred sales outlets displaying local and traditional handicrafts will be a special feature on both days.
The National celebrations on June 50 will be launched by the Environment and Natural Resources Minister Rukman Senanayake, Irrigation and Water Management Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Colombo Mayor Prasanna Gunawardena and the Resident Representative of UNDP Miguel Bermeo. Four lectures on ` Water, Environment and Ecological Balance; Unbroken bonds between Water, Village, Farmer and Environment, Watershed Management, Water Consuming and Water and Future Challenges' have been schecduled for the afternoon session which will be chaired by former Additional Secretary of the Environment Ministry Sunil Sarath Perera. Traditional folk songs and dances, playlets and songs on water and the environment and a Cultural Show will bring down the curtain on the June 5 celebrations. The presentation of certificates and awards to winners of the school and public competitions will also be made.
The June 6th celebrations will commence with a March highlighting water related issues followed by a discussion forum on Experts views, a Cultural item by farmers and a discussion forum with presentations by political parties. The day's proceedings will conclude with a Deva Kannalawwa (invoking the gods) to safeguard water resources.
Produced by Lake House