The Wasgamuwa, Kaudulla, Minneriya, Lahugala, Kumana, Yala and Bundalla National Parks and the world renowned surfing beach resort of Arugambay are situated nearby to our project sites. Additionally, a significant tourist circuit is the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka that connects important monuments in Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa, which are declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, are near to our project sites as well. Our projects are providing economic incentives that show the elephant as a flagship species and its habitat as being an economic asset to the local communities who used to consider the elephant an agriculture pest. Such an effort also increases their involvement in the ongoing conservation and research efforts thereby generating support for these projects at the local level.
The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with Escape Tourism (http://www.escapetourism.com) has developed a sustainable tourism program to distribute equitable benefits to local stakeholders. Thirty five percent of Escape Tourism's profits are fed back into SLWCS. Escape Tourism provides funding support to the Society's operations and research efforts.
Additionally, the communities in the SLWCS project areas directly benefit from the following:
- Direct employment opportunities in conservation, research and volunteer projects.
- Income from providing services, goods and skills to the projects.
- Income from peripheral economic development.
- From the funds that are generated from eco-tourism plans are underway to allocate a percentage to villagers in the form of micro finance and credit to establish cooperatives for sustainable development, to establish insurance schemes to compensate for damages inflicted by raiding elephants, and to set up elephant deterrent systems such as solar powered electric fences.
- Access to the knowledge, technology, skills and other economic opportunities generated from the project.
Our research and conservation efforts become even more important in the context of these issues and therefore any support organizations or individuals can extend to us would be crucial to achieve our goals and objectives to develop a sustainable conservation model in Sri Lanka.
International Volunteer & Experiential Travel Program
The international volunteers and the experiential/responsible travel program of the SLWCS is conducted in partnership with Global Vision International, Travellers Worldwide, World Wide Experience, Global Crossroads, Steppes, Frontiers, Diverse-Earth, International Ventures and Travel Inc., and Discovery Initiatives. In addition the Society has partnerships with local companies, Eco Team and the Ranweli Holiday Resort to provide hospitality services and facilities to our volunteer and experiential travel program.
Travel & Tourism Services
The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society organizes fully customized tours for fully independent travelers and travel and tour organizations to fit their individual needs and budgets. A specialty is organizing film/photo shoots.
Logistics and Support Services
The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has extensive experience providing logistics and support services to international and national documentary film production companies. The society has provided services to Animal Planet, National Public Radio (USA), Doc TV (Germany), Cotswold (photo shoot summer 2006 catalogue), Mona Lisa Production (France), Conde Naste magazine, National Geographic, Discovery and to a number of photojournalists. Along with providing ground support the SLWCS handles all the tedious and time consuming matters such as obtaining permits and clearances from the the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka Film Corporation and other relevant government agencies. The Society is well equipped with 3 SUVs, one 4WD van, a Zodiac with outboard motor to provide ground logistics. Additionally, it can also arrange to charter helicopters, provide camping sites and fully equipped camps for film crews.