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Creating an Estimated Ecological Wealth of USD 382,362 through a Nature Corridor

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A Model for Forest Landscape Restoration by Dilmah

The recently concluded World Environment Day 2021 marked the advent of the ‘decade of restoration,’ where the United Nations calls States to take urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. It is an attempt to halt the exploitation of sensitive ecosystems and turn towards healing our environment. In its efforts to foster respect for the environment and encourage harmonious coexistence of man and nature, Dilmah initiated through Dilmah Conservation, a Nature Corridor on Endana Estate, in the Sabaragamuwa Province. The initiative focuses on the restoration and revitalisation of a habitat, by connecting two isolated forest patches located in the vicinity of the Sinharaja Rain Forest.

Located on the border of the globally significant Sinharaja Forest Complex, Endana Estate is endowed with many species, both fauna and flora. The estate lies in a part of the land that has separated Iharakanda and Walankanda Forest Reserves by tea plantations and human settlements for over 100 years. The nature corridor was strategically established to connect the two forest reserves so that fauna and flora can migrate freely between the two locations leading to greater genetic diversity. In 2018, Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando uprooted tea plants at the Endana Tea Estate as a symbol of the project’s initiation.

Dilmah ensures to continue monitoring and restoring the habitat, as an initial baseline survey revealed that, it is home to a high level of fauna diversity including 34 endemic species and 20 threatened species, while many birds and mammals use the estate as a route to migrate between the forest reserves. Furthermore, to ensure sustainability, the threatened endemic plant species selected for the restoration were based on micro and macro elements, such as, species distribution patterns in Sinharaja tropical lowland rainforest, and the conservation status of species according to the IUCN Redlist.

“We have conducted several field studies in Endana Nature Corridor since 2018. I would like to highlight our recent estimates of the total ecosystem services of the Endana Nature Corridor. In a mere extent of 60 ha, this corridor generates an annual ecological wealth of US$ 382,362 (approximately 76.3 million rupees). Our estimates are discounted for the secondary forest patches within the corridor and home gardens in comparison to high-valued virgin rainforests in the vicinity. These estimates are vital and should be considered for conservation and development-related decision making in the wet zone forests” says Dr. Nalaka Geekiyanage, the principal scientist. Dilmah is committed to strengthening the habitat through the plant nursery established to house saplings which will soon be planted in the nature corridor and by constant monitoring of climate change impacts to the selected area.

“The environment is central to Dilmah’s business, and Dilmah Conservation was established as an affirmation of this core commitment to environmental sustainability. As Dilmah has grown, I have not forgotten my pledge, and revenue from the sale of Dilmah funds the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation. Our Foundation – I say ‘our’ because every Dilmah tea drinker is a part of the MJF Foundation – has changed the lives of thousands. Its humanitarian service will continue to grow alongside Dilmah,” says the Founder, Merrill J. Fernando.

The nature corridor is situated in a mosaic that bring together local communities, tea estates and forest reserves with rich biodiversity. Engaging local communities is an integral part of the project, that ensure its success and sustainability. From the inception of the project, Dilmah has worked with the local communities; educating, creating awareness, and strengthening livelihoods by providing beekeeping education and the necessary infrastructure, including market alignment for the finished products.

The United Nations Environmental Programme emphasises that commitment to green recovery through reimagining, recreating, and restoring ecosystems is vital. It would allow minimal global temperature rise, ensure food security for a growing population and slow the rate of species extinctions. In addition to the Endana Nature Corridor, Dilmah Conservation has established several other projects under its green recovery programme. These include the Hunuwella pilot project which aims to restore degraded tea lands through a Kandyan Home Garden and eco-agroforestry concept.

(Dilmah news release)

 

 



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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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