A&E Lanka partners with BSL for forest restoration in Kanneliya

(L-R): Dilhan C. Fernando, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Biodiversity Sri Lanka and Priyantha Aluthwatte, Managing Director, A&E Lanka.

As part of its ongoing efforts to give back to the community & society, American & Efird Lanka (A&E Lanka), a Portfolio Company of Elevate Textiles, recently partnered with Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL) to support their efforts in Forest Restoration of the Kanneliya Conservation Forest in Halgahawela, Opatha. The MOU was signed in commemoration of the ‘International Day for Biological Diversity’, which was celebrated globally on May 22, via a virtual meeting in the presence of Directors, Advisors and Members of both BSL & A&E.

Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL) in partnership with the Forest Department, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Sri Lanka and 10 of its Member Companies, initiated the restoration project of a 10-hectare block of degraded fern land in the Kanneliya Conservation Forest in 2018. With A&E Lanka’s support, BSL will now begin the restoration of a further two hectares facilitating connectivity of this fragmented forest patch with the Kanneliya Conservation Forest.

Commenting on this latest partnership, Dilhan C. Fernando, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Biodiversity Sri Lanka stated, “The Importance of this collaboration, for me personally as a person representing the private sector and Biodiversity Sri Lanka, is that we have united science, government and business in doing something that will deliver the kind of change we need at a national level. Doing something great at a local level is fantastic but collaborating and scaling that up to a national level would be something groundbreaking. Therefore, I would like to particularly appreciate the involvement and support of our new partner, American & Efird Lanka, as it is symbolic of something far greater than the project itself.”

Commenting on their involvement, Priyantha Aluthwatte, Managing Director, A&E Lanka stated, “I’m grateful for the opportunity given to us by Biodiversity Sri Lanka to be a part of this project. We look forward to working closely with the BSL team on their future projects in developing this to a national level. We firmly believe that these initiatives help to instill a greater commitment towards protecting the planet and operating as a responsible corporate citizen internally which is in line with one of our core values; being socially responsible. I’m also excited to see how our employees could connect with nature through the Kanneliya Conservation Forest Restoration project as we move forward.”

Sharing his expertise on the project, Devaka K. Weerakoon, Senior Professor in Zoology, University of Colombo, added, “We have made significant progress using scientific principles of ecosystem restoration. Several new and adaptive restoration techniques have also been introduced to accelerate plant growth and to increase survival rates. Upon completion our initiative will support the development of policies and tools to utilize the accrued biodiversity credits in a sustainable manner in consultation with national agencies. A further benefit of the project is that it boosts the local economy by providing employment opportunities to adjacent communities.”

American & Efird (A&E), a Portfolio Company of Elevate Textiles, is the largest U.S. manufacturer and the world’s foremost manufacturer and distributor of premium quality industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles.

With a reputation of over 130 years, A&E’s global presence extends from Asia to Europe and the Americas. A&E Lanka has been in operation in Sri Lanka since 1991 supporting Sri Lankan Apparel Manufacturers to position Sri Lanka’s Apparel Industry as the ‘Preferred Ethical Apparel Sourcing Destination’ on the global sourcing map.