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Thinking for a cooler world

Klaus Esterluß | Climate Champions

Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne, Climate Champion from Sri Lanka

Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne has been an eco-activist for 14 years. She was nominated as a Climate Champion and Global Changemaker by the British Council. Anoka is also an AshokaYouth Venturer for Social Entrepreneurship. For the GLOBAL IDEAS Blog she will be writing about her work as a Climate Champion and her experiences with climate change.

Part I
People my age like to have fun. That is why the initiative we set up, is a “fun + action” initiative. Within the Sri Lanka Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN), we organize debates at university level, beach parties, replantation or clean-up campaigns, interactive workshops, discussion platforms, art exhibitions and and street theatre plays.  All of these activities are popular with children and young people. They are the catalysts of change in the society, in becoming eco-responsible adults.

As a volunteer for the NGO EMACE Sri Lanka, I work with the communities of Bolgoda Lake in Sri Lanka on a grass roots level. This way we are creating a win-win situation. On the one hand we save the mangroves in the region. On the other hand we help the villagers by promoting eco-tourism or solar fishing lamps. We help to develop sustainable fishing techniques and we are looking for customers for the handmade and eco-friendly products of the people. A programme to train eco-tourism guides, handicraft methods and sustainable fishing is ongoing. All of these projects will be expanded at national level, collaborating with branches of EMACE and SLYCAN islandwide.

My work enabled me to be the SAARC Youth Award Recipient 2010, for Outstanding Contribution to the Protection of the Environment and Mitigation of Climate Change.
These may be small steps but the impact is growing and creating a wave of eco-positive change among youth in Sri Lanka.


May 27, 2011