Marks International Coastal Cleanup Day with the youth in media and young volunteers
Colombo, September 17th, 2023 – Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Ltd. proudly continues its mission to safeguard Sri Lanka’s shorelines by extending the ‘Adopt A Beach’ initiative for a triumphant third year. This exciting announcement aligns with the celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2023, emphasizing the paramount significance of coastal preservation.
Commemorating the partnership with an exclusive beach cleanup and an enlightening session at Crow Island Beach, the day’s proceedings were honored by the presence of the Honorable Governor of the Western Province and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Roshan Goonetileke and key government stakeholders representing the Ministry of Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council, Environmental Police Division, Coastal Conservation Department, Waste Management Authority and the Crow Island Beach Management Society.
Additionally, underlining the vital role that the youth of our nation play in forging cleaner and safer coastal regions, particularly through the realms of media and volunteerism, the occasion also brought together young talents from the media sector and a dedicated team of volunteers from the Clean Ocean Force, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club of the Ocean’s University, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club in Negombo, Rotaract Club Colombo Regent, Shri Vimukthi Youth Association, youth from International Schools and Adfactors Public Relations Lanka.
The ‘Adopt A Beach’ program, initiated in partnership with Clean Ocean Force (COF), has set new benchmarks in Sri Lanka’s beach cleanup initiatives. Coca-Cola Sri Lanka sponsors COF’s efforts to clean and maintain the Crow Island Beach, which involve multiple stakeholders, including the Ministry of Local Government, Coastal Conservation Department, Central Environment authority, Economic Promotion, Power and Energy, Environmental Affairs, Water Supply and Drainage, Tourism Western Province – Sri Lanka, Waste Management Authority Western Province, Sri Lanka Police Environmental Division, Marine Environment Protection Authority, Colombo Municipal Council, Samurdhi Authority, Crow Island Management, and the Beach Society Management of Crow Island.
This daily cleaning initiative operates as a sustainable and distinctive endeavor, setting itself apart from occasional cleanup efforts by consistently addressing the area’s cleanliness. Notably, the project is closely monitored by the Honorable Governor’s office and a dedicated task force, ensuring its seamless execution. In addition to its environmental objectives, this initiative plays a crucial role in community empowerment, specifically focusing on uplifting low-income and underprivileged communities by creating an alternative source of income through waste collection. By providing opportunities for livelihoods, this project has made a profound impact on numerous economically challenged families, effectively highlighting its dual significance in both environmental preservation and societal progress. This also marks the first time a corporate entity has undertaken and continues to embark on such an ambitious and sustained commitment to beach conservation in Sri Lanka.
Pankaj Sinha, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Sri Lanka and Maldives, expressed his gratitude to Clean Ocean Force and the government bodies that have made this initiative possible. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to preserving our coastal treasures remains unwavering. Extending our ‘Adopt A Beach’ program for the third consecutive year is a testament to our dedication to creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment. Our partnership with Clean Ocean Force reflects our shared vision for a pristine coastline, and we are proud to lead the way in this transformative journey.”
Jerome Fernando, Chairman, and Founder of Clean Ocean Force, conveyed his excitement, saying, “Our partnership with Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has been truly remarkable. We’ve not only cleaned Crow Island Beach but also extended our efforts to five beaches and three lagoons in Negombo, creating a profound impact. It has also inspired others to join our cause. As we enter the third year of our ‘Adopt A Beach’ program, we’re reminded that change is possible when communities, corporations, and conservationists unite to protect our coastline.”
Notably, during the commemorative event, ten waste collectors who actively participated in the cleanup received well-deserved recognition and rewards. They were presented with packages of dry rations, ensuring their sustenance for a period extending beyond two months. “This initiative represents a collective effort, and its success is indebted to our diligent collectors who work tirelessly to maintain the cleanliness of our beaches. On behalf of Coca-Cola and the Clean Ocean Force, our gratitude goes out to our collectors, as their unwavering commitment is the cornerstone of this program’s success.”, remarked Sinha, extending his appreciation and gratitude at the event.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka’s commitment to the ‘Adopt A Beach’ program has set a precedent for corporate environmental responsibility in the country. The program’s success has led to the establishment of the term “Adopt a beach,” with other corporates following Coca-Cola’s lead in adopting beaches and supporting coastal protection initiatives.
As Coca-Cola Sri Lanka extends its ‘Adopt A Beach’ program into a third year, the partnership between the company, Clean Ocean Force, and the government continues to serve as a shining example of how public-private collaborations can drive meaningful change and contribute to a more sustainable and cleaner coastal environment for all.
Image 01: Clean Ocean Force’s Chairman & Founder, Mr. Jerome Fernando (1st from left) and Coca-Cola Sri Lanka’s Managing Director, Mr. Pankaj Sinha (3rd from left) exchange the MoU in the esteemed presence of the Hon. Governor of the Western Province and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Mr. Roshan Goonetileke