SOS Call from the Garden of Eden
Today, Sri Lanka’s coveted showcase of bio-diversity is being mutilated beyond imagination. At this rate of destruction, it is only a matter of time when the small Indian Ocean Island, hailed by the world as its Garden of Eden turns into a monumental disaster. This beautiful island is gifted with some of nature’s most incredible facets, most rare or endemic.
You can help us fight to save this island of many thousand delights!
Sri Lanka is a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean with a land extent of about 65,000 square kms. What makes the island unique is its amazing spread of bio-diversity, contrasting climatic conditions and land mass, all within a short drive from one geographical zone to another. Serendib, Ceylon, Eden or whatever name you want to call it, Sri Lanka is a miracle of Mother Nature and MUST be saved for the whole world.
Rivers begin from the wet mountainous zone and meander through lush green hills, rain forests, intermediary zone and finally dry zone.
Over a hundred rivers flow into the Indian ocean from different points of the island’s vast coastal belt.
The island features a mountainous area in the south-central parts rising to an elevation of 2524 meters from sea level.
Our 360 Mission
The Geo Explore Foundation is on a 360’ mission – as the name amplifies, exploring the earth closer to our habitats, zeroing in on man-made destructions – all the while, initiating far-reaching solutions that are surprisingly simple, resourceful and yet, far reaching!
Our not-for-profits Foundation is inspired on the belief that, to successfully effect change, hearts must be won in the first place. This is the corner-stone to reverse-engineering and we call it ‘Backdoor Engineering’.
A Timely Plan of Action:
The Mandate of The Geo Explore Foundation
- To promote, conserve, preserve and safeguard the natural habitat, natural environment, natural resources and bio diversity of Sri Lanka and educate and make the people of Sri Lanka aware of the need for conservation and to highlight the country’s responsibility towards same.
- To invest in and implement wildlife tourism, eco-tourism and related projects with a view to encouraging people to learn about their natural habitat and their role towards conserving it.
- To plan and implement projects aimed at enhancing the socio-economic condition of low-income groups, particularly environment friendly self-employment projects in areas known for human-animal conflict and deforestation for agricultural purposes.
- To act as supervisory and/or managing agent for activities and projects undertaken by international organizations.
- To launch and sustain projects and initiatives, study courses, study tours, expeditions, seminars, lectures, promotional tours, responsible-tourism activities, academic activities, research, tests and study programs and any other related activities in Sri Lanka and overseas to achieve the primary objects of the Foundation.
- To set up and maintain a study and research center espousing and facilitating the primary objects of the Foundation.
- Build, maintain and improve infrastructure to achieve the primary objects of the Foundation To establish and develop reciprocal relations with kindred organizations and work in collaboration or in association with such organizations.
KumbukRiver Wins The World’s Attention
Revolution Off The Beaten-Track
We planted ourselves in the epicenter of trouble – the northern edge of Yala National Park. When we first stepped foot in the hamlet of Dambeyaya in Okkampitiya, Buttala, life here was torn asunder by a protracted war. People were driven off this border village by a protracted war; one more bloody attack occurred while we were there!
On the other side of Kumbukkan Oya (River) that separates civilization from the deeps of the Yala National Park, the protracted war offered the perfect circumstances for destruction of one of the country’s greatest assets. Strewed across Yala were countless ancient treasures and a feast of nature – in the form of a resplendent habitat rich in flora and fauna, laced with precious stones. Fortune hunters, loggers, miners and poachers were burning the midnight oil – absolutely unchecked.
We researched the burning issues grappling nature – and a downtrodden people of this vast natural haven of Sri Lanka’s south-east. This is where Geo-Explore Foundations ‘out-of-the-box’ approach came to the fore. KumbukRiver, a one-of-a-kind responsible tourism project was born in the year 2005. Centerpiece of this grass-root revolution off the beaten-track was a towering eco villa in the shape of a 40ft elephant, the mascot for the Foundation. KumbukRiver captured the attention of the world to Sri Lanka’s richness in bio-diversity and brought it to the forefront in Asia’s forays in responsible tourism.
KumbukRiver soon emerged as Sri Lanka’s highest awarded resort on the world scene, winning the Travel Oscar as the world’s leading eco-lodge and is also among the world’s top 10 most unusual hotels. International publicity won KumbukRiver the support of the State machinery. Divisional Secretariat of Buttala provided its ready support while villagers, the most challenging aspect for any grass-root level organization readily accepted the ‘outsiders’ in their backyard. Winning hearts and minds – and respect, was half the battle won and would form the onward strategy for the Foundation.
Growing Children Around Trees!
Geo 360’ is our way forward – where conservation happens through ownership by its custodians, the villagers who will naturally protect the bio-diversity of their habitat because it brings them economic success and better living. This model will have them educated on all fronts – from conservation to wealth and value-creation. And GEF believes children are the bridge to all of this.