Deschooling environment

Published: Wednesday 31 May 2006

Environmentalist Institute Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a new institute for environmentalists. But it's a development that's not gone down well with many environmentalists. The reason: membership will be extended to only those who have a post-graduate degree in environmental science and have practised for at least seven years as environmental scientists.

Leading environmental scientist Hemantha Withanage said these qualifications "will demoralise, discourage and dishearten the majority engaged in environmental protection". In an open letter addressed to the country's president, prime minister and environmental authorities, Withanage said, "According to my experience, best environmentalists are among people who do not have any professional qualifications. Environmentalists can be found in every layer of society: among farmers, teachers, priests, lawyers, students, journalists and other professionals.

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