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‘Sobha 2012’; National Environment day celebrations held at Royal College.
Inspiring humanity to protect our planet.

The national celebration for the World Environment day was held at Royal College, Colombo 7 on the 5th of June with the aim of empowering society to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development while promoting an understanding to change attitudes towards environmental issues.

Sustainable development is a crucial and contemporary topic. Energy is essential for development and yet. The energy challenge is different – a problem of waste and pollution. The Royal College Union, under the Edex – Think Green project has initiated many “go green” concentrated projects such as the tree naming campaign, compost yard, Bio gas and rain water harvesting project have been implemented at Royal College and it is that which prompted the celebrations to be held at the college.  Students are exposed to many green initiatives such as using fallen leaves as compost and generating Bio gas from organic garbage etc.

The celebrations held on the 5th commenced in three stages. Stage one consisted of Tour De Green a bicycle parade with the aim of spreading awareness on the environment. Many singers, actors, ministers and environmentalists participated in this parade that took place on the 1st of June. The parade commenced at 9 A.M from Nelum Pokuna and reached Royal College premises.

The second stage consisted of the educational exhibition ‘Sobha 2012’. The exhibition attracted scores of people from many areas in Sri Lanka. Approximately 20,000 children and teachers participated.  The Minister of Environment Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena, the Principal of Royal College, Mr Upali Gunasekara along with several other  invitees and dignitaries representing government and private sector institutions, graced the occasion.Minister of Environment Anura Priyadharshana Yapa stated that “It is at this stage that the world has understood the value of our green economic practices which have been practiced throughout Sri Lanka’s history.”

 The main aim of the exhibition was to change the attitudes with regards to environmental conservation and inspire society to preserve the environment. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Green Economy. Does it include you?”  The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) defines a Green Economy as ‘one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.’

 The participants were educated on various environmental conservative concepts of “Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.  Demonstrations were done using recycling machines and the participants were able to witness the process of recycling of polyethen  and plastic.  Prizes were given to winners of essay, art and photography competitions.

The third stage consisted of the national function at Nawarangahala where a book and a stamp were launched to commemorate the occasion.  The Minister of Education Mr Anura Priyadarshana Yapa along with the Japanese and Cuban ambassadors were present at the function. The principal of Royal College, Mr Upali Gunasekara thanked The Royal College Union for being in the forefront of educating the younger generation of the importance of conserving the environment and all green initiatives.

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