The 12th National Environmental Pioneer Camp was held from 21st to 24th September 2016 at the National College of Education, Peradeniya with the participation of nearly 250 Envionemntal Pioneer Gold Medalists hailed from 44 Schools Islandwide.
Environmental Pioneer Program (EPP) is a school based far-sighted environmental conservation initiative introduced through the school network system and implemented by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The program aims at raising environmental awareness among, the Environmental Pioneers and using them as key messengers of environmental protection and conservation.
The inaugural ceremony was held on 22nd September 2016 and the event was graced by the Hon. Anuradha Jayaratne (Attorney at Law), the Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Hon. Niluka Ekanayake, Governor, Central Province and Hon. Sarath Ekanayake, Chief Minister, Central Province. Political Leadership of the Central Province and other guests including Ms. Shaantha Wijeratne,Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri, Chairman, participated in the event.
The event was colorful with the performance,staged by the students of St’ Anthony’s College, Kandy and Pushpadana Girl’s College, Kandy. In order to provide the participants with practical aspects of understanding the environmental problems associated with and the best environmental practices which could be adopted to minimize the environmental damage, the CEA has organized four field visits to Hanthana, Brassware village at Pilimathalawa, Herbarium at Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Water Purification Station, Meewathura and Plant Genetic Resource Centre, Gannoruwa.
The four-day national camp unrolled a variety of educational, cultural, dram, and group learning events for the pioneers to learn from and share experience thorough in-house and field excursions. Cultural events performed by the Pioneers were really attractive and it was a good opportunity to showcase their talents and also to get an idea about different cultures. Prospective Teachers of both Hapitigama National College of Education and Jaffna National College of Education performed stage drama called “Manel Isnland”
Environmental Pioneer Gold Medals were awarded to all the Pioneers by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development, the Chelf Guest and other Guest of Honors.