Taking the ‘heavy conceptual stuff’ out of conservation and creating a million birders.

Creative book publishing may be one way to take the ‘heavy conceptual stuff’ out of conservation, possibly even creating 1 mn avid birders by 2025. Creative book publishing may be one way to take the ‘heavy conceptual stuff’ out of conservation, possibly even creating 1 mn avid birders by 2025.

“A birdwatcher,” wildlife enthusiast and CEO of Jetwing Eco Holidays, Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne says, “is someone who can identify a 100 birds on sight.”

That’s the target. The idea being, if people can put a name to and identify with what they see, they will also drive the desire to conserve and promote Sri Lanka as a wildlife destination.

“We have to make conservation less conceptual and take the academic side away from it; Make people connect with it and want to see Purple Herons, dragonflies, butterflies and the endemic Purple Faced Leaf Monkey at Talangama and want to see it conserved.”

“So your conservation lobby just grows. But to start doing that, you need to get people to start putting a name to things, talking about it and realising the potential themselves and the need for conservation.”

Book publishing is half the battle th