A workshop was conducted in the Knuckles Forest Reserve with participation development partners – UNDP, ESCAMP and representatives from NGOs, CSOs, who are actively engaged in community development programs in villages in the periphery of Knuckles Conservation Forest. The workshop was held on 7 June 2019 at the Knuckles Information Center, Pitavalapathana, Illukkumbura.
The Project Director of ESCAMP, Mr Anura Sathurusinghe explained the benefits of integrated approach by all agencies / stakeholders work in the area. He noted that it would create more benefits to the local communities live in and around Knuckles to improve their livelihood while conserving the environment. He requested all development agencies in the area to agree on a common work plan which focused on the community development and share the inputs accordingly instead of repeating the same services or activities done by one organization. A best example is ‘Home Garden Development’ in the area. Instead of duplicating the same activity done by one agency, other agencies could provide plants and seeds for the same programmer to develop a more productive and well organized Home Garden. Similarly, others could support another program initiated by another NGO or CSO. This approach appeared to be much easy for beneficiaries to implement under the guidance and supervision by one agency. Similarly, ESCAMP and GEF-SGP could implement their programs jointly in Knuckles area to provide better coordinated services to the community.
Even, officials in GEF-SGP (UNDP) agreed to the proposal as they could work on activities identified under a common program for the area.
Mr Shiraj Morugama, Community Development and Livelihood Development Specialist of ESCAMP said that project aim is to improve the livelihood of adjacent communities while protecting and conserving the ecosystems in the locality. This could be done by reducing the dependency of communities on ecosystems and natural resources. NGOs and CSOs could work with Forest Department and Wildlife Conservation Department to achieve this goal.
Published on: July 16, 2019 @ 10.00 am