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



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)




DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama pawning facility lends a helping hand to those with urgent cash requirements



DFCC Bank has increased the advances of its “DFCC Ranwarama” Pawning Facility as a solution for families to meet their urgent cash requirements as many families are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has had a significant impact on the Sri Lankan economy.

Through this scheme, all Sri Lankan citizens over 18 years of age with the contractual capacity to declare themselves as owners of the articles can now pawn gold or gold jewellery. DFCC Bank accepts jewellery made of 18 Karat -24 Karat gold, with the articles being assayed using the latest available equipment. Items of 24 Karate will hold an advanced value of LKR 82,000/-, while 22 Karat pieces will hold an advanced value of LKR 68,000/- at an interest rate of 0.75% per month. Those who engage in these transactions are provided a maximum of 12 months to settle the pawning advances at their convenience.

DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama Pawning Facility offers many other special features including the highest advance amount at competitive rates of interest, confidentiality and guaranteed security for the articles, flexible payment plans with redemption options when required and redemption without prior notification. All of these facilities are available with no hidden charges, offering customers the best service available in the market.

You may visit a DFCC Bank branch closest to you to transact or visit the Bank’s website at for further information. Customers can also contact DFCC Bank’s 24-hour contact center on +94(11)2350000 for further inquiries.

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HSBC Sri Lanka recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance



HSBC has been recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance at the World’s Best Consumer Digital Banks Awards in Asia-Pacific. While this is the bank’s fourth award win for this year, this also marks the 13th time that HSBC Sri Lanka has been named the Best Consumer Digital Bank, since 2006.

HSBC Sri Lanka is also the only market in Asia Pacific to win the prestigious award this year.

According to Global Finance, the global health crisis accelerated the need for digital and contact-free solutions by banks in helping create safe and efficient banking services for customers. HSBC Sri Lanka was quick to react in supporting customers in providing seamless digital bank offerings in an increasingly demanding environment, while ensuring customers have a secure banking service with a full spectrum of client-centric banking services.

Through its wealth of digital capabilities and offerings, HSBC allowed customers to adopt a mobile-first approach, and provide them with faster, easier and more secure banking services 24/7. The bank introduced a virtual on boarding capability for account opening, loans and credit cards supported by Adobe Live Sign, eKYC and virtual PINs to provide a seamless on boarding experience for customers. HSBC also offers credit card activation through SMS and an e2e virtual registration process for online banking, offering a virtual banking experience.

In Sri Lanka more than 90% of its personal customers now use digital channels including mobile banking, e-wallets, real-time cash deposit machines and other digital services.

Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking said, “We are truly honoured to be named the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance in recognition of our digital capabilities, and delivering important everyday services and features that customers need and expect. As a leading international bank, we are putting the power of our bank in every customer’s pocket, with easier and more secure digital banking. We want to take the hassle out of everyday banking, and enable customers to easily manage their money online, from opening a new account in a few clicks, to making real time payments and accessing credit.”

Senaratne added: “We’re also blending the power of technology with the expertise of our people and empowering our frontline teams with the latest data and insights tools, to be better-equipped to check customer satisfaction in the moment, to understand, and respond to their evolving needs and give customers excellent service.”

Winners were selected by a world-class panel of judges and entries were judged based on the strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings and evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives.

Earlier this year, HSBC Sri Lanka was also named International Bank of the Year by Asiamoney and Finance Asia respectively, and International Retail Bank of the Year by Asian Banking & Finance.

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BoardPAC appointed Strategic Partner of Commonwealth’s Business Network – CWEIC



BoardPAC, the Sri Lanka-based multinational Board meeting automation solutions company, has been appointed a Strategic Partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), the organisation officially mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote trade and investment between the 54 Commonwealth member countries.

This prestigious appointment will see CWEIC relying on BoardPAC’s award-winning solutions to conduct board and committee meetings with members and maintain relationships across the Commonwealth network at a time when the global pandemic’s complete disruption of business activity has resulted in a surge in the demand for efficient board meeting automation.

The Company said the partnership will also effectively promote the BoardPAC platform to new users and facilitate its expansion into new territories and focus markets. BoardPAC already has a global user base in excess of 50,000 and a presence in more than 40 countries.

Noting that BoardPAC’s latest partnership serves as yet another testament to the quality of its solutions, BoardPAC Co-Founder/CEO, Lakmini Wijesundera stated: “Our growth plan includes expanding our worldwide network, and our strategic alliance with CWEIC will strongly help us extend our presence into Commonwealth territories. The strategic cooperation between CWEIC and BoardPAC is especially relevant in light of the worldwide pandemic, and the emerging need for secure remote working and filling the void in virtual board meetings.”

CWEIC Chairman, Rt. Hon. Lord Jonathan Marland said: “We are looking forward to work closely with BoardPAC. The alliance will not only help CWEIC to conduct virtual board meetings securely and safely, but also align ourselves with all governance, risk and compliance as well as environmental, social, and governance frameworks.” Echoing this sentiment, CWEIC Deputy Chair, Sir Hugo Swire stated: “We are excited to partner with BoardPAC and extend modern digital governance and compliance solutions to organisations operating in the Commonwealth.”

Disclosing that BoardPAC’s excellent track record inspired confidence within the CWEIC to implement its solution on a global scale, CWEIC Chief Executive, Samantha Cohen CVO added: “We’re delighted that BoardPAC, one of the most renowned virtual board meeting automation providers in the world, joined our network of Strategic Partners. BoardPAC will add significant value to our board and committee meetings, allowing the CWEIC to conduct meetings with its members throughout the Commonwealth more effectively. The partnership also demonstrates the opportunities within the Commonwealth, and the confidence businesses have towards the Commonwealth and CWEIC.”

A commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s network includes around 100 business and government Strategic Partners (members) including Standard Chartered, Zenith Bank, Trade & Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories. Every two years, CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

BoardPAC is an award winning, multinational, paperless board meeting automation solutions provider, recognised for driving simple, secure, sustainable and experiential communications for Board and Executive members. Leading corporates such as Petronas, Deloitte, EY, Mercedes Benz, Prudential, Hong Leong Group, Stock Exchange of Malaysia, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Bombay Stock Exchange, Bank Negara, Maybank, Power Grid Corporation of India, Colombo Stock Exchange, and Sri Lankan Airlines are just some of BoardPAC’s success stories, and the Company said the partnership with the CWEIC will pave the way to several more high-profile additions to this list.

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