The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) is a non-governmental organization that is committed to developing a sustainable model for wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka. Our model is an inclusive conservation strategy that gives consideration to environmental protection, sustainable holistic development, poverty alleviation, social mobilization, decentralization, bottom-up planning, mainstreaming gender, improving governance, and basically making optimum use of community resources. The Society concurrently pursues three strategies to fulfill its mission and to achieve its goals and objectives, which is field research, applied conservation and sustainable economic development. We firmly believe that to achieve sustainable conservation the socio-economic issues of communities who inhabit areas of environmental significance must be addressed. Therefore the SLWCS is highly committed to developing solutions that address environmental, climate change, biodiversity loss, livelihoods, land use and rural poverty issues since they are very closely linked and need to be addressed simultaneously. In 2008, we received a UNDP Equator Initiative Equator Prize for our outstanding efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Our programs give travellers the opportunity to work alongside scientists, conservationists, educators and communities in the field. They will assist to gather information on wildlife and tropical ecosystems and to collect essential environmental and socio-economic information to develop community-based conservation projects. Through their meetings and discussions with local villagers they will help to identify rural livelihoods that adversely impact on the environment and contribute to human-wildlife conflicts. We conduct several such field programs to gather information on the Sri Lankan elephant and leopard including expeditions to explore some of the least studied coastlines and coastal waters in the world—that also happen to be the richest in the world in marine mammals―to gather information on the blue whale and another 27 species of marine mammals, 61 species of sharks and 5 species of sea turtles to help in their conservation. The locations range from the semi-arid sandy coastal areas to the wet tropical forests and the cool cloud forests of the mountains.