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In 2007 SANASA Federation drafted its environmental policy as “Beautiful Sri Lanka” in consultation with its 6,000 Thrift and Credit Unions across the country. SANASA Beautiful Sri Lanka project was coupled with Sri Lanka NEXT Blue-Green Economy, the government initiative in 2016 by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MOMDE) to develop 10,000 sustainable villages by 2020.

 

The project was officially inaugurated by His Excellency, the President of Sri Lanka, Honorable Maithreepala  Sirisena on 1st July 2016 at SANASA Campus. The event was organized in line with the International Day of Cooperatives 2016. It was launched in collaboration with the Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka, Department of Forest Conservation, State Timber Corporation, Geological Survey Mines Office, Central Environmental Authority, Department of Coast Conservation, Marine Environment Authority, and National Ozone Unit. It received the support of several government agencies and a National Steering Committee was appointed to expedite the project.

 

The project envisioned the development of sustainable villages with the following objectives:

 

  • Biodiversity conservation with community participation
  • Combatting climate change with community involvement
  • Creating opportunities with SANASA for Sri Lanka Carbon Fund (SLCF) Ltd
  • Penetrating National Ozone Unit (NOU) activity to grassroots communities
  • Creating awareness on Natural Resource Management (NRM) among grassroots communities
  • Research engagements and environment policy and planning activities with SANASA
  • Promoting environmental education among SANASA members
  • Approaching sustainable development with MoMDE and SANASA members
  • Sustainable environment programs for SANASA societies and its members - creating “Lassana roads under tree guardian mechanism”.

 

100 villages were selected from the existing primary Sanasa societies to be developed as green villages by training 100 change agents (social mobilisers) to further train society members and villagers; 10 Voluntary Environmental Leaders (VELs) from each of the 100 villages to deliver the message of green village concept to grassroots. It carried out various activities like,

 

  • Awareness programme for 150 selected members of SANASA and 50 members including school children and youth organizations to provide technical advisory services.
  • Surveys and research on endangered mangroves for restoration.
  • Conducting programmes for mangrove conservation.
  • Creating Educational, research, and scientific awareness of the campaigns among general public.
  • Introducing eco-tourism as an economic activity.

 

To create a climate change sensitive population and to develop smart green villages - 10,000 Blue-Green Beautiful Sri Lanka villages have been developed during the period 2016-2021 in collaboration with SANASA movement.