Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation – Asia Pacific Conference 2019 and launch of the Sri Lankan Ecological Association [fr]
The Ambassador of France took part in the 12th annual conference of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) Asia Pacific Chapter held in Sri Lanka, at MAS Athena, Thulhiriya from September 10th to 13th.
ATBC is a scientific professional society formed in 1963 which promotes research, education, conservation and communication on tropical biology. Asia is a major focus point for tropical biology, biodiversity loss and deforestation. This year, the annual meeting for the Asia-Pacific region focused on Bridging the elements of biodiversity conservation: Save-Study-Use. During four days, the conference has featured 26 symposia and more than 200 oral and written presentations were made, thus creating a platform for networking, collaboration and learning. Two researchers from the French Institute of Pondicherry also participated.
Mr. Eric Lavertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, attended the inaugural ceremony on September 10th, with Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, Dr. Enoka Kudavidanage, conference chair, and Dr. Sejal Worah, programme director at WWF India. This first day was the occasion for everyone to highlight the unique richness and variety of Sri Lankan ecosystem, its high level endemism and the urgency to act on a global level for protecting biodiversity.
The ambassador made a speech on September 12th for the launch of the Sri Lankan Ecologial Association whose mandate aims at gathering scientists, scholars, students, ecologists, business and social society representatives to address environmental and ecological issues in Sri Lanka. The ambassador reminded the audience about French commitment against climate change and biodiversity loss, especially with Metz Charter on biodiversity adopted on May 5th, 2019, at the G7 Ministers of Environment summit. France acts in Sri Lanka as well. As the ambassador recalled, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French bilateral public development bank, launched a call for projects open to NGOs entitled “Boosting the Potential of the Blue Economy : Conservation of the Sri Lankan Shoreline, Beaches and Waves” which aims at contributing to the preservation of coastal biodiversity and natural heritage in Sri Lanka, at preserving and encouraging economic opportunities, and at reinforcing social link. Last May, the embassy organized a conference on primary forests and the human/elephant conflict in collaboration with biodiversity Sri Lanka. The ambassador offered his support to the newly created organization and renewed French will to contribute to biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka.