Awareness program commemorating the world environment day was held on 23rd June 2017 at Uwa Wellassa University, Badulla with the participation of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Biodiversity for Food & Nutrition project (BFN), Department of Agriculture and the Uwa Wellassa University aimed at increasing awareness of university undergraduate students regarding biodiversity under different disciplinary. The program was initiated with the session of establishment of an under-utilized fruit garden with planting underutilized fruit crops in the university premises with name boards for each fruit crop planted with information of botanical details, nutritional value and health benefits designed to introduce, create awareness and increase utilization of underutilized fruits amongst the present generation.

Dr. Nuwan Liyanage, Senior Lecturer, Uwa Wellassa University commenced the second session of the awareness program comprising lectures and discussions under the theme world environment day “Connecting People to Nature”. Detailed lectures on agro-biodiversity for human nutrition delivered by Dr. W. L. G. Samarasinghe, National project coordinator, BFN project, Identification and controlling invasive alien species in Sri Lanka by Mrs. Kalyani Premathilake, event coordinator, Ministry of Mahaweli

Development and Environment with valuable information about invasive species in Sri Lanka according to the priority list; comprising species namely Prosopis juliflora, Salvinia molesta, Eichhornia crassipes, Panicum maximum, Clusia rosea highlighting their origin, distribution and control measures.

Several lectures highlighting the biodiversity in Sri Lanka and importance of conservation were delivered by subject related experts (Assistant Directors) at the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment including Mr. A. Thennakoon; environmental changes in Sri Lanka, their effects and methods of elimination by Mrs. N. Ranasinghe; and sustainable waste management by Mrs. S. Pranando. Lectures were followed by discussion sessions with active participation from the audience.

The awareness program for the world environment day was successfully completed with the active participation from the university students. This program was co-organized by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with financial aid extended out by the Biodiversity for Food & Nutrition project (BFN).

Nutritional and Medicinal Value of Underutilized Fruit Demonstration at the Uwa Wellassa University in collaboration with the BFN project