The number of Asian elephants has dropped by at least 50% over the last three generations, and they are still continuing to decline. With an estimated 50,000 elephants left in the continent, the species is classified as endangered. Nations Trust Bank and the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) of Sri Lanka recently hosted a webinar titled ‘Asian elephant conservation: The long road ahead’ to discuss various efforts to support Asian elephant conservation.
The webinar, part of the monthly ‘Nations Trust WNPS Public Lecture‘ series, was led by Sri Lankan American wildlife conservation professional Nilanga Jayasinghe. She is a Manager on the Wildlife Conservation team at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and her areas of expertise include human-wildlife conflict, Asian elephants, strategic planning, connectivity conservation, protected area management, capacity building, and technological applications for wildlife conservation.
“We are thrilled to have WWF expert Nilanga Jayasinghe on board as the speaker for this month’s public lecture to discuss the various ways we can ensure that elephant population in Sri Lanka is protected. She brings close to 20 years of extensive experience in international species conservation and has worked on conservation issues across the board in Asia, Africa, and North America,” said Theja Silva, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Nations Trust Bank. “As a responsible corporate citizen, it is our duty to protect our fauna and flora and we are honoured to be able to support WNPS to continue hosting these lectures to educate and encourage the public to take action in various conservation fronts.”
Nilanga Jayasinghe is also a member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) and the Asian Rhino Specialist Group (AsRSG) under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Species Survival Commission (SSC), and a member of the Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group under the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas.
The ‘Nations Trust WNPS Public Lecture’ series is open to all and will be conducted monthly via Zoom and Facebook Live. For more details on the upcoming webinars, please visit www.wnpssl.org/events/lectures.