(Left to Right) Azmara Mannan Perera – Marketing Manager Hemas Consumer, Sherlene Gunanayagam – Brand Manager Hemas Consumer, Fiona Juriansz Munasinghe – Director Marketing Hemas Consumer, Graham Marshall – Marine Committee Chair WNPS, Tami Flamer Caldera – Vice President WNPS
Hemas Consumer, a leading manufacturer in beauty and personal care sector, reiterating its commitment to bio-diversity conservation has collaborated with the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS) in a scientific mangrove regeneration project within the Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary.
Hemas will work closely with the WNPS over a period of three years in implementing necessary measures to restore mangroves in selected blocks of land. The project is also in reasonably close proximity to the Hemas Manufacturing Plant at Dankotuwa. Aided by a holistic approach to mangrove rehabilitation, this 3-year long project will ensure that the restored mangroves are carefully nurtured until they flourish with regular monitoring from all parties.
The Dankotuwa Plant will play an active role in this project through participation and by raising awareness among nearby communities on the importance of restoring mangroves for future generations. The Hemas team along with WNPS, will be instrumental in promoting the participation of local communities in mangrove conservation by conducting awareness sessions. This long-term project comes in to fruition in the backdrop of over 50% of Sri Lanka’s mangrove forests being destroyed during the past 30 years. An important element is also that part of the funding is allocated towards scientific study and continual analysis and measurement of the eco system.
Mangroves are among the most productive ecosystems in the world that shelter and feed thousands of animal species and are said to absorb up to 4x CO2 than tropical forests while shielding the surrounding against storms, tsunamis and floods. They protect the lagoons and the estuaries from erosion, reduce pollution of near-shore coastal waters, provide recreational grounds and opportunities for bird watching, fuel wood and many more. These versatile ecosystems are in danger due to excessive human activity such as construction of shrimp farms, discharge of pollutants, illegal constructions, urbanization and tourism.
Anawilundawa wetland stretches across 1,397 hectares and is one of Sri Lanka’s six designated wetlands by Ramsar convention. Whilst being a sanctuary for hundreds of bird species, fish species and animals, Anawilundawa ecosystem has largely benefited the villagers to earn a living.
Commenting during the MoU sign up between Hemas Consumer and the WNPS, Fiona Juriansz Munasinghe – Director Marketing Hemas Consumer said,
“We are indeed honored to partner with Wildlife & Nature Protection Society to initiate this timely project that aims to restore the mangrove ecosystem surrounding Anawilundawa wetland, which is threatened by further human activity. Sri Lanka’s ecological resources are declining exponentially for some period and it is high time that we take necessary action before they slip away from our control. As a company which is extremely conscious about the environment we live in, Hemas has always been leading from the front in nature conservation initiatives, continuously funding and supporting such projects and we will continue to do so in the future as well. This is one of several initiatives we as a truly Sri Lankan company are taking towards environmental protection, plastic reduction, recycling, and improved carbon footprints for all operations. Baby Cheramy and Kumarika, two of the highly renowned brands of Hemas have been pioneering these projects and they extend the due support as the main sponsors for this project as well, in their efforts to foster a greener Sri Lanka.”
Marine Committee Chair Graham Marshall speaking on behalf of the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society said, “It is observed that Sri Lanka’s Mangrove cover which currently stands at 0.32% of the entire landmass is under further threat. We are extremely happy to be partnering with Hemas in this project and we truly appreciate their commitment to conserve these invaluable ecosystems. This initiative is driven by the Marine Sub Committee of the WNPS who are extremely happy to be a part of this critical project initiated and owned by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Forests and supported by the University of Wayamba. In an island where the sea area is 8 times that of the landmass, it is crucial that there be a much greater focus on marine conservation. The fabric of activity of Marine committee is designed with this in mind. The criticality of our mangrove cover has driven mangrove conservation to the top in the committee’s agenda.”
Hemas Consumer, is a leading manufacturer in Sri Lanka’s Home and Personal Care sector. Hemas started with a simple intent: to help families live healthfully. This core belief has underscored growth for over 70 years. Today, as a leading public quoted company, it brings healthful living to life through a portfolio of world-class products and services in the Consumer, Healthcare and Mobility sectors. Woven into the socioeconomic fabric of Sri Lanka, Hemas continue to invest in diverse and passionate teams, create meaningful offerings, cultivate trusted partnerships, leading on Environmental initiatives and championing a more inclusive world.