‘GDP growth eclipsed by diminishing forest cover’

CIMA partners Rotary to grow one million trees


CIMA Global President Keith Luck hands cheque to Gowri Rajan- District Governor of Rotary District 3220-for the ‘One Million Tree Stories’ initiative.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

CIMA Sri Lanka last week officially announced the organisation’s participation in Rotary Lanka's flagship initiative, ‘One Million Tree Stories Project’. One million trees will be planted through this project which aims at helping Sri Lanka grow back its forests to support future generations.

Gowri Rajan, District Governor of Rotary District 3220 speaking at the event said," Sri Lanka’s GDP growth has risen to an eye-catching 7 to 8%, but according to a UN country report, Sri Lanka's forest coverage has reduced drastically from 53% in 1990 to 29% in 2012. In this context, what we undertake today is not only a social service but also a dedicated effort towards environmental sustainability.

Referring to CIMA/Rotary partnership Gowri said, "We are delighted that CIMA has come on board with us to support our initiative, and we are sure this will be a catalyst for other organizations to also pledge their support."

CIMA will partner Rotary Sri Lanka to initially support planting 5,000 trees with the support of students and members and will endeavor to plant a further 20,000 with the support of corporate and training partners.

The trees will be planted in a specific geographical area with the partnership and guidance of the Ministry of Irrigation and Agrarian Services and the Department of Forestry. The areas selected are the banks of six key reservoirs in Kurunegala district, which is a protected area.

Each tree will be geo-tagged so that an individual sponsor can monitor the growth of his or her tree using any online map.

CIMA Global President Keith Luck FCMA, CGMA who visited Sri Lanka signed the agreement on behalf of CIMA.

Speaking at the event Keith Luck said: "At this important juncture, planting trees is a metaphor for CIMA--the world’s premier professional body of management accountants— because the organization is approaching its 50th anniversary in Sri Lanka and is very close to its centenary globally. During my four years as a member of the Board of the UK’s Foreign Office, one of our main policy objectives was tackling Climate Change."

Rotary Sri Lanka in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism and the Hatton National Bank began this initiative to address the deforestation of Sri Lanka; which is one of the most serious environmental issues affecting the island.

Bradley Emerson, CIMA Regional Director MESANA said, "CSR and commitment to environment protection has been on the corporate agenda for decades. It is time we move these statements away from Annual Reports to action and demonstrate we are truly committed to greenery and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This initiative will provide an opportunity for our students and members to really plant a tree and consciously contribute to ensure a greener Sri Lanka for generations to come."

More information about the project, including ways of getting involved, is available on the website www.rotarytree.com

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