The Colombo Jewellery Store partners with the WNPS to save Wild Elephants
Spanning three generations of passion and commitment over 99 years, the Colombo Jewellery Store (CJS) is a landmark in luxury fashion and jewellery in Sri Lanka. Proving they are a business with heart, and not just a pioneer in high quality gem and jewellery, CJS has developed a strong reputation for using its brand awareness to inspire social conscience on environmental issues. It is no coincidence, therefore, that it would choose to partner with an organization of like longevity, the 127 year old Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), to make this happen.
From 2019, CJS has been a partner of WNPS; starting with helping the Society celebrate its 125th Anniversary by crafting a special collection of wildlife-themed gold jewellery for the occasion. Of equal importance is that CJS came forward as the first corporate partner of the WNPS’s Light Repel System (LRS) initiative, on the northern border of the Uda Walawe National Park, at Pokunutenna. This is a system for deterring elephants from entering villages and their cultivations.
On May 22, 2021, World Biodiversity Day, CJS made a further donation to the WNPS, to aid its expansion of the LRS pilot project to 25 locations, in four (4) districts of the country, all subject to heightened levels of Human – Elephant Conflict (HEC).
Sri Lanka has the highest level of HEC in the World, mostly caused by unplanned development, and bad wildlife management. Elephants are killed in the most cruel of ways – not just with guns, but also by electrocutions and, the most horrible of all, the use of Hakka Patas, explosives hidden in items of food that when bitten on explode, blowing their jaws and mouthparts away. It also must not be forgotten that people die in this conflict too; on average about a quarter of the number of the elephants who do. Sadly, year on year, the overall trend is upwards, with 2019 proving a record year. In all, approximately 2, 800 elephants have been killed in the last 10 years; that is almost 50% of the number estimated in the wild by a census conducted by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).
In this context, the generosity and conservation awareness of CJS is doubly welcome as this trend must be stopped; and it can be with the application of science and learning, as with the WNPS’s LRS System. As such, the General Committee of the WNPS greatly appreciates the commitment of CJS in partnering the Society to help save the Wild Elephants of Sri Lanka, and reduce the needless loss of lives of the human victims of this conflict too.
Details of the current, critical situation for wild elephants in Sri Lanka, as well as of the WNPS’s LRS System, can be accessed from our website https://www.wnpssl.org/ If you would like any further information, please contact us via email [email protected] or call +94 11 2 887390