The Forest Department of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has revealed that "Sri Lanka's forest coverage has reduced from 53% to 29% as at 2012". Therefore, with the objective of ensuring that the future children of this country to have a "Tourism Industry' in Sri Lanka, the Rotary District 3220 Sri Lanka partnered by Sri Lanka Tourism, HNB and M Cash launched a programme called " One Million Tree Stories"-planting of one million trees.
Miss England Natasha Hemmings and Chris Bramell Mr. England who visited Sri Lanka Tourism planted the 500,000th and 500,001th tree at the premises, so that it off sets the carbon footprint of their travel as part of the One Million Tree Project.
Natasha Hemmings-Miss England and Chris Bramell Mr. England plant the 500,000th tree. Present at the memorable event was Project implementation Chairman of Rotary - Dion Schorman, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism a Promotions Dr Rohantha Athukorala and Director Events SLTPB - Gayathri Dassanayake
The One Million a Tree project carefully planned and audited by Rotary has 16 specific nurseries have been dedicated in for propagating specific tree types like Meewara, Kumbuk, Madan and Kohomba in Ibbagamuwa, Kurunagala. This is done in Partnership with Department of Irrigation, Agrarian Services Development, Divisional Secretaries of the area and the people of a Ibbagamuwa as a best practice said the Project Implementing Chairman Of Rotary Dion Schorman.
The theme "One million tree stories" is based on the consumer insight that there is an emotional bonding between a person and a tree either at home, office, school or recreational area and we want people to share their " Tree Story" before being part of the programme said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism promotions Bureau Dr Rohantha Athukorala. He went on to share that as we celebrate ' World Tourism Day" unless together the stakeholders partner this project and supports environmental sustainability, it will have adverse impact to the Tourism Industry in the future.
Mr and Miss England bought a tree for $1 dollar and hosted on FaceBook to share with one million followers in UK
Given that 77% of tourists say at the airport exit survey conducted in 2014, that they were delighted with the Sri Lankan experience while 22% say they were satisfied, we appeal to them to sponsor a tree at $1 at the Bandaranaike International Airport at the HNB branch or any other 250 HNB branches across the country. Or they can visit the Rotary tree website and pay online which in fact can be done by every tourist who has come to Sri Lanka in the past said Chairman Athukorala.
Sri Lanka Tourism will collaborate with Industry partners SLAITO,THASL,ASMET,City Hoteliers Association, National Tourist Guide Lecturers Association and other parties involved in the Tourism sector where we will bring together Hoteliers, Travel Operators, the Guides, Restaurants and other service providers to link to this Project under one cause for the country. In the phase two, Carbon certification will be done where 100,000 Carbon credits will be available to Strategic partners which will feature more Carbon neutral hotels, Carbon neutral travel agencies
More details of the project is available on 'One Million Tree Stories' Project Website (http://www.rotarytree.com/) was launched in February by Miss World Rolene Strauss.