Environmental and Social Justice Award 2014  
  October 2014, Kandy- CEJ recognised thirteen environmental and social rights defenders who served many years during the Environmental and Social Justice Award 2014.Former vice president of the International Court of Justice,  
Improving Environmental Justice for the Rural Poor in Sri Lanka

CEJ engages in a project to improve environmental Justice for the rural communities in Sri Lanka in partnership with the IUCN Sri Lanka. This project is financed by the DFID through IUCN Sri Lanka. Centre for Environmental Justice is working with the local communities in Kotabowa area near Nilgala forest and Poeple living around Periyakalapu in Thirrukkovil. Public Interest Law Foundation conduct similar activities in Puttalam lagoon and in the Peak Wilderness near Rathnapura.

Project Background

IUCN-Sri Lanka and Centre for Environmental Justice collaborate in the implementation of a Project Improving Environmental Justice for the rural poor in Sri Lankawhich is a component of a global project, entitled “improving natural recourse governance for rural poverty reduction”.

The combination of population pressure, a history of civil war, natural disasters and weak governance over natural resources has been increase the tensions over access to forest, coastal ecosystems and water in recent years. The above mentioned project aims to strengthen rights to natural resources, promote changes to reduce procedural inequalities by addressing questions of fair treatment and uniformly applying governing rules, regulations and evaluation criteria focusing mainly on issues faced by poor communities dependent on natural recourses and improve the protection to the natural resources in collaboration of all stakeholders. So that project focuses on three main elements.

  Improving governance for managing natural resources;
  Empowering civil society to reduce poverty and better manage natural resource and
  Capacity building for civil society to effectively manage natural resources.
The project is expected to be piloted in four locations. Two pilot areas were allocated to Centre for Environmental Justice. Those are villages (Bibile, Nilgala and Kotabowa) adjacent to the Nilgala forest reserve in Moneragala district and boundary villages in the Periyakalapu lagoon of the eastern coastal belt in Ampara district.
Local partners

“Nilgala Mithuro” a local CBO is the local collaborator for the Nilgala site.Socio Environmental Educational Development Association is the local collaborating parner in the PeriyaKalapu site.

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