OUR JOURNEY: At times rewarding, at times frustrating, always heady


The green revolution penetrates Sri Lanka with the introduction of tobacco cultivation and the rudimentary policy changes that will be the precursor of later protectionist ideology is set in place

Late 1970’s

A market oriented economic system is introduced to Sri Lanka causing many environmental and social problems

Mid 1980’s

The widespread social, environmental and economic damage of mega scale development projects such as dams, highways, industrial parks, cash crop plantations, mining and logging pave the way for the establishment of environment movements. Widespread application of agrochemicals commences. Two distinct schools of environmentalists emerge. The first, elite and middle-class group had a romantic vision for conserving fauna and flora based on protectionism whilst preserving and working within the destructive and anti-environment economic paradigm. The second was made up of academics and activists who wanted the economic paradigm changed to a human and environment friendly one. This group has a political vision as well as a conservation ideology that aimed to create living systems that created a symbiosis between all its constituent components.

Early 1990’s

Huge social mobilization, resistance campaigns lobbying and advocacy with relevant authorities and pressuring the government for changing of policies and campaigns against unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly projects were launched. Chemical use becomes widespread

Mid 1990’s

These movements slowly and steadily develop. At the time there was a trend for environment friendly consciousness within the communities. However, it is not developed and still in the form of a movement of environmental friendly community organization and mobilization.Farsighted farmers see the potential damage being caused to soil and water by agrochemicals and revert back to natural organic practices that were slowly dying out

11th March 1998

The Green Movement is formed advocating the sustainability of the livelihoods of the low income generating majority and the conservation of the environment

Early 2003

With disasters increasing, the first agrochemical based sicknesses beginning to make themselves known and increasingly uncaring development aggression on the part of both governments and donors, the Green Movement expands its activities to fulfill its self-imposed mandate by forming the Disaster Management and Information Unit, the sustainable agriculture unit and the IFI watch programs

Late 2004 – late 2006

When the Asian Tsunamis hit Sri Lanka, the Greens are the only civil organization that is prepared and its responses and reports become the UN reports on the developing situation in Sri Lanka


The Green Movement is incorporated by act no 53/2007 of the Parliament


The Green Movement of Sri Lanka is in the forefront of policy advocacy, engaging in the Rio process, the Paris Aid Effectiveness process, the UNFCCC process contributing at the highest international level to formulating global policies


The Green Movement’s work hits a hiatus with various social and political changes but it continues to work on its chosen mandates


The Green Movement relaunches its core thrust areas and reactivates its island wide network, connecting its own network and that of the Sri Lanka Nature Forum and works in tandem with 147 member organizations, active and in the forefront of the policy lobby and advocacy groups calling for reform of governing practices, economic models and environment management. In its new form, it repositions itself against changing world dynamics as well as local realities, pursuing a strongly evidence based approach to its work on the ground where it takes into consideration both mainstream science and traditional knowledge in a sustainable and futureproofed amalgam. In its activities, it focusses on the primary drivers of social wellbeing and not the reactive, surface level symptomatic treatment that has resulted in most civil action coming to naught. In this, it works with the sensibilities of the among the larger majority of the peoples of the country and the world while taking a realistic stance on the way in which the world must chart its future

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