Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

School debating competition: Locking horns for conservation

Children from schools around Udawalawe National Park in the south of Sri Lanka, where Born Free has been working to address conflict between farmers and elephants since 2008, recently took part in a debating competition organised by Born Free’s Sri Lanka Office and hosted by Rathambalagama School (part of Born Free’s Global Friends programme).

Six schools competed in the first round, debating whether ‘traditional agriculture devastates the natural environment in Sri Lanka’. The teams animatedly discussed the country’s irrigation system and the deliberate destruction of forested areas for monocrop farming, along with the resulting human-elephant conflict. The second round focussed on whether ‘elephants are threatened’. This was the most dynamic round of all, with the four remaining schools presenting research showing both the distressing fate of many wild and captive elephants in the country as well as the various conservation activities currently taking place in an effort to conserve them. ‘Conserving our village environment is being effectively considered’ was the final topic examined and related among other things to various programmes in place, particularly tree planting and waste management.  All of the arguments were well researched and well-reasoned and were a credit to the teachers and pupils alike.

The Born Free Sri Lanka team would like to congratulate the winners, Kotaweheramankada School, and applaud all the children’s hard work and commitment before and during the competition, in the hope that the participating schools continue to consider the issues raised during the debate.

See below for a video of the debate and for more information on Born Free Sri Lanka’s previous competitions see the links on the left.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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