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Tuesday, 06 August 2019 06:40

Insects - The Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” - E.O. Wilson

WNPS lecture Prof Jayanthi“Insects – The Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka” is the title for the instalment of the Public Lecture Series of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society to be held on 15 August at BMICH. The lecture will be delivered by Emeritus Prof. Jayanthi Edirisinghe and Prof. Nirmalie Pallewatta.

WNPS lecture Prof NirmalieInvertebrates make up nearly 90% of the world’s biodiversity and insects are the most diverse of all animals on this planet. They comprise nearly two-thirds of all terrestrial species. Yet, they remain poorly understood in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries like Sri Lanka. Without insects, we would not be able to live in this world. They play very important roles in ecosystem functioning, pollination being the most obvious that springs to mind. Yet, insects do much more than this. They play a big role in energy cycling in ecosystems and contribute to maintaining the quality of soils and water, aerating soils, and reducing soil runoff by improving texture. In fact, as E.O. Wilson states, should insects go extinct, we and most of the remaining living world would soon follow.

Alas, thanks to the actions of humans, there has been a dramatic decline in the populations of insects. While bees have hit the headlines, insecticides and other pollutants are decimating all species of insects in all parts of the world. Unless we stop, life will!

Pleading the cause of insects for our continued survival are two of Sri Lanka’s entomologists, Prof. Pallewatta and emeritus Prof. Edirisinghe. Public Lecture Series of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society is open to both members and non-members and entrance is free.

Prof. Nirmalie Pallewatta

Prof. Jayanthi Edirisinghe