Press release from Mr.Vittorio Coco regarding project to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sri Lanka in Tourism sector.
The Representative of ICT4SIDS in the Indian Ocean Region, Mr. Vittorio Coco, announced on Tuesday 9th October the initiation and planning phase of the MiniLankaHeritage Park, a multi-stakeholders and ambitious tourism project placing an emphasis on Goals 4, 12, 17 of the UN 2030 Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka through Sustainable Tourism.
MiniLanka Heritage Park will be built on a well accessible countryside open space with a landscape design that will reflect the tear-drop shape of the island (just for reference, boot-shaped Italy in Miniature Park, Rimini, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bsFYTh5cuM, built in 1970, covers 85.000 sq meters, shows 273 miniatures, hosts 500.000 visitors per year) , and it is expected to become an international top-rated tourist attraction, the first in the world to showcase unique replicas in miniature (1:25 scale) of the country landmarks produced by using 3D laser scanning drones flying over the original sites and 3D printers fed by filaments extruded from recycled plastic waste.
The park development will integrate a series of multipurpose playfields: eco-certified bungalows for overnight guests, shopping and dining facilities all spread across a vibrant green environment will complete the leisure experience of the visitors, a stretch of smart pavilions organized by sustainability issues (poverty, health, education, climate change, life on land and below water etc.) will provideto young and adults a learning experience platform (augmented and virtual reality, gamification, access to big data banks etc.) to explore current progress and future prospects for the Sustainable Development Goals both in Sri Lanka and through the whole planet.
The initial planning team of service providers and products suppliers associated and coordinated by ICT4SIDS in the project of the MiniLanka Heritage Park includes international expert of miniature cities and attraction parks, Erik Rorsch, www.miniaturecity.org, environmental designer Christiaan Kruis, www.christiaankruis-arch.com, Protoprint, India,the producer of filaments for 3d printing from recycling plastic waste,https://www.socialseva.org/protoprint and Thrimana, www.thrimana3dprinters.com, which Mr.Coco says is the only Sri Lankan company already achieving successful expertise and results in the forefront of 3D scanning and 3D printers manufacturing.
“Sri Lanka has 8 UNESCO world heritage sites and wonderful natural attractions but not too many people do know that. A miniature park is a great way to show Sri Lanka to the rest of the world all in one place. Visitors of MiniLanka Heritage Park will be able to admire 50-100 models of important Sri Lanka buildings, heritage and nature sites and the models will be made with modern technology, using for the first time recycled plastic waste. That’s sustainability!! Around the model park itself you will find pavilions about history, energy, mobility, hospitality, water, food and the future. Get ready for half a day of great fun!!” commented Erik Rorsch, Creative Director of Miniature City from his office in Netherlands
“Thrimana is the leading 3D printer brand in Sri Lanka and having the largest market share. We have conducted several research projects to enhance the technology as well as find the possibilities of applying 3D printing for other fields. One of our projects was to identify the capability of applying 3D scanning and 3D printing for preserving historical sites. We are proud to say that we are the only organization which conducted such program in Sri Lanka. So we are really happy to partner with this initiative and support to achieve the objectives.” said Rajitha de Silva, CEO of Thrimana as we asked for his company engagement in delivering this project.
Preliminary plans are already laid down on the drawing board to attract potential investors, with a commitment to produce within a period of maximum 8 months a full feasibility study and a master plan to create a one-of-a-kind theme park in one of the nine Provinces of Sri Lanka, envisioned to become an iconic inventory of the national heritage and the storyteller of the future of the country.
“I urge potential investors to rush for financing the feasibility study of this project to insure it will be carried out in the Province and location of their choice before other competitors take their chance, this may be the best investment they have ever made before. By introducing the vision of an ecosmart theme park project in Sri Lanka, ICT4SIDS aims to challenge the tourism industry to support innovative solutions in conservation of heritage and preservation of environment. But the MiniLanka Heritage Park has also been envisioned as a powerful tool to create and enhance new cultural, economic and social opportunities in the tourism industry for young generations and to become the catalyst for the implementation in Sri Lanka of the Youth 2030 Strategy launched by the Secretary General of United Nations in September 2018 to achieve better education, skills development and empowerment of the young people worldwide.” added Vittorio Coco, ICT4SIDS Representative in Southern Asia.
ITC4SIDS is a UN Partnership founded and directed by Professor Umar Amjad, headquartered in the University of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, devoted to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in Small Islands Developing States through Information and CommunicationTechnologies. Professor Amjad and his team of graduated engineers have developed so far several ICT-based pilot projects tobenefit youth and women in underserved and remote area of the world with a vision to set up a global network of smart hubs for smart communities.