Colombo, May 16 (NIA) – Sri Lanka will commemorate the ‘International Day of Biological Diversity’ next week by outlining the importance of protecting its eco system and reducing the damage to biodiversity caused by tourism, a statement from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said here Tuesday.
Biodiversity, at the level of species and ecosystems, provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism, the Chamber said.
Recognition of the great importance to tourism economies of attractive landscapes and a rich biodiversity underpins the political and economic case for biodiversity conservation.
Although Sri Lanka is a small island, its biodiversity is significantly important both in a regional and global scale. The island has been declared as one of the 25 “biodiversity hotspots” of the world.
Sri Lanka’s tourism is the country’s third largest foreign exchange earner and contributes a substantial percentage towards the GDP. In post-war Sri Lanka, tourist arrivals have seen a remarkable increase and there is a significant increase in investments in tourism as well as, infrastructure development through opening up of new tourist attractions.
The CCC said the theme for this year’s event was to ensure greater control and management to reduce damage to biodiversity from tourism and pursuing the positive contribution of tourism to biodiversity awareness, protected areas, habitat restoration, community engagement, and resource mobilization.
This theme therefore provides an opportunity to raise awareness and action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, the CCC added.