Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne was awarded the SAARC Youth Award 2010 for outstanding contribution to protection of environment and mitigation of climate change.Anoka represented Sri Lanka at the Children’s World Summit for the Environment in Aichi, Japan 2005. Anoka was also selected for the World Youth Conference 2010.Anoka became a British Council International Climate Champion 2010 for her work. She was selected from more than 70 Climate Champion from India and Sri Lanka to represent the region and Sri Lanka at the international Youth Forum on Climate Finance 2010 coinciding with the Shanghai Expo 2010 in China. Being a part of the Youth Environmental Network of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Youth Climate Action Network, she is in the core group of organizing SAYSOCC 2010 – The South Asian Youth Summit on Climate Change.
Anoka Abeyrathne achieved all of this within the tender age of 20 years. It is sheer dedication and commitment to protecting the environment and mitigating climate change that brought her to this level. She firmly believes that excellence is never an accident.
The nominee is currently involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation through Mangrove replantation and conservation and also in the promotion of solar powered LED fishing lamps. The solar powered LED lamps were introduced to the fishermen at Bolgoda Lake to be used as an alternative for the traditional kerosene lamps used for night fishing. The new solar powered lamp stops the release of more than 1836 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide per year at the rate of 3.14Kg per 1.2L of kerosene being burnt. Thus the nominee promotes the lamps for the EMACE Foundation of Sri Lanka for which she works on voluntary basis.
The nominee has also replanted Mangroves in the Alubomulla and Indibedda of Sri Lanka, where much destruction has been caused to the Mangrove habitat due to commercial constructions and non-awareness. Thus the nominee held school awareness programmes and made a network of school environmental clubs in order to promote the awareness through various competitions.
The nominee has the exceptional achievement of having represented Sri Lanka at the age of 15 years, and has continuously been representing her work and her motherland in various forums, conferences and summits.
As Sri Lankan representative to the Climate Finance Forum in China 2010, she will be playing a major role in the formulation of policy and in the declaration made at the end of the forum to address climate change and presented to world policy-makers.
Anoka is also an award winning musician, poet, writer and athlete who promoted a green sports concept in school meets. Further she and her friends supported 6 schools in rural areas by provided clean drinking water and books.
Anoka Abeyrathne has been working with Mangroves and underprivileged communities for more than 4 years. She was devastated to see the destruction caused to the Mangrove ecosystem especially after the Tsunami when she had learnt that Mangroves had the ability to reduce the impact of natural disasters, as places with Mangroves had felt very little impact of the killer waves. Thus being a biology student, she volunteered with the EMACE Foundation of Sri Lanka in order to stop the destruction to the Mangrove eco-system of the Bolgoda Lake of Sri Lanka.
Anoka is also in close collaboration with the British Council from which she has been helped financially and technically.