Monday, October 2, 2023

Tokyo Cement Group and the Police Department Join Forces for a Greener Future

Tree planting events held in Ududumbara and Minipe Mahaweli catchment areas

The Tokyo Cement Group recently joined forces with the Sri Lanka Police Department to host two successful tree-planting events in Handaganawa in Minipe and Meedumgama in Ududumbara.  Over 600 participants, including state and local government employees, farming communities and school children, came together to plant 7,000 saplings of diverse local plant species such as Kumbuk, Jackfruit, Damba, Ingini, Laolu (Egg Fruit), Mango, Tamarind, Mee, and Bulu (Bedda Nut), in the Mahaweli catchment areas.

The events were sponsored by Tokyo Cement Group with the objective of restoring the region’s natural ecosystem, whilst fostering environmental stewardship among local communities. The Company envisions creating a forest belt comprising of native flower and fruit-bearing trees that benefit local farming culture and boost natural biodiversity, whilst preventing soil erosion in the riverbanks. Through this long-term engagement Tokyo Cement anticipates the participating community groups and school children to become patrons of the trees, until such time they become an intrinsic part of the Mahaweli catchment areas.

Officers and staff of the Sri Lanka Police Department attached to the Hasalaka and Ududumbara Police Divisions, under the aegis of the Central Province DIG Office were instrumental in organizing these tree planting programs, ensuring the participation of all state institutions and schools in each area. This collaboration between the Sri Lanka Police Department and Tokyo Cement Group strengthens the collective efforts to create a greener, healthier environment for our future generations.

The first of the two collaborative tree-planting events was held in the Hadaganawa region of the Mahaweli catchment area and was organized by the Hasalaka Police Division.  6,100 native tree saplings were planted along the river reserve with the participation of over 100 police officers and representatives from the Department of Forest Conservation, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Irrigation, Minipe Divisional Secretariat, Minipe Pradeshiya Sabha, and over 200 students from Hadaganawa Maha Vidyalaya and Morayaya Maha Vidyalaya.

The second event was held in Meedumgama, in the Ududumbara region of the Mahaweli river catchment area and was organized in association with the Ududumbara Police Division. The event brought together over 200 participants, including officers from the Hunnasgiriya Range Office of the Department of Forest Conservation, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ududumbara Divisional Secretariat, and Ududumbara Pradesiya Sabha. Additionally, over a hundred students from the Ududumbara National School also participated in the tree planting program helping to enhance its impact.

The Tokyo Cement Company launched this keystone sustainability initiative to replenish Sri Lanka’s declining forest cover in 2017, by establishing two native forest tree nurseries: one at the Trincomalee Factory and the other at the Mahiyangana Power Plant premises. Each nursery has the capacity to produce 10,000 native forest tree seedlings annually, that gets distributed for island-wide reforestation campaigns carried out by various state and independent conservationist groups.

In addition to forest tree propagation, Tokyo Cement Group leads several scientific knowledge-based conservation efforts as part of its sustainability drive.  Among the most impactful conservation programs spearheaded by The Company, Mangrove and Coral Reef Conservation take center stage.  Tokyo Cement Group started its Mangrove Conservation Project in 2012 by setting up a mangrove nursery that can nurture 10,000 seedlings within its factory premises.  The initiative has so far planted more than 77,000 mangrove saplings belonging to 7 native species along Trincomalee, Jaffna and Mannar coastal belts in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Navy, supported by local fishing communities and likeminded conservation groups.  Next, Tokyo Cement Group is deeply involved in Coral Reef Conservation for over a decade, leading a consortium of partners comprised of renowned marine biologists and conservation experts, actively involved in restoring the severely threatened reef barrier around Sri Lanka.

The company’s promise on sustainability breathes life through these far-reaching initiatives that successfully integrate social welfare and environmental conservation within its corporate mission that aims to enrich our country, its people, and the environment.

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