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Dear Members / Friends of Conservation,

At 122 years, the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS) is the oldest of its kind in Sri Lanka, and the second oldest in South Asia. Responsible for the setting up of the three premier National Parks in Sri Lanka - Wilpattu, Yala and Uda Walawe - the Society was also instrumental in the formation of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) that continues to be the statutory body responsible for the wild places and creatures of Sri Lanka.

Regrettably, the destruction of the unique natural heritage of this country has reached unparalleled levels and with the responsible Government Departments turning a blind eye to what is happening, legal action remains the only recourse open to conservationists to have the environmental laws of this country acted on. This, and the resulting media coverage, serves to prevent some of the destruction taking place, though with the volume of cases, it is not possible to tackle them all at once.

As such, the WNPS has to prioritize which cases to take to court, in the hope that once a court ruling is made, it will deter other such breaches of the Law from taking place. Presently, there is a huge increase in the number of permits being given for Mini Hydro-Power Schemes, in environmentally sensitive areas, without any proper Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) being carried out, as per Law. Several of these are on the borders of the Sinharaja Forest, this country's last intact Rainforest. It is important that development takes place. But it is equally important that this development is planned and not at the sacrifice of this country's precious natural heritage.

The WNPS survives on the subscriptions of its members and does not have the funds to pay for these expensive legal processes. This is a problem that faces all conservation groups in this country. Instead of going it alone, the Society goes into partnerships with organizations such as the Environmental Foundation Ltd. (EFL) & the Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) not only to share expertise and resources, but also as the partnership between such groups carries greater weight with the Courts than would an individual entity. For this, the WNPS tries to raise the necessary funding from donations to its Legal Fund. At present, the Society is involved in half a dozen court cases ranging from the Wilpattu Road Case to the Illegal Capture of Baby Elephants from the Wild to the Hydro-Power Schemes, et al. It is in this context, that we kindly seek your generous donation to the Society's Legal Fund for the fighting of these cases, particularly those of the Mini Hydro Power schemes which are causing irreparable damage. Please be assured that any monies donated will not be used for any other functions of the Society, and an account of their use can be given if required.

Please support us by donating to the Society's Legal Fund A/c # 1290019843 at Commercial Bank of Ceylon P L C., Battaramulla

Also, please visit WNPS's website to learn more about what the organization does.

And visit our Facebook pages to receive updates and to support us.

Thank you & best regards,
*Prof. Lakdas D. Fernando,*