Climate Chaos: Exploring the Consequences of Carbon Emission – Law Goes Green 2023
‘Law Goes Green’ is an initiative by the Faculty of Law, which aims to create awareness and instill a sense of responsibility in undergraduates towards the environment. For nine consecutive years, Law Goes Green has been based on a wide variety of themes associated with the environment, ranging from discussing academic, legal and activist approaches to environmental protection in Sri Lanka, to furthering Sustainable Development Goals, providing global responses to environmental issues, and regulation of hazardous and toxic substances. The Head (Acting) of the Department of Public and International Law, Professor Kokila Konasinghe has been leading the initiative together with Final Year undergraduates from the Law Goes Green Committee. Marking its 10th anniversary, the Law Goes Green 2023 Committee conducted the project on the theme “Climate Chaos: Exploring the Consequences of Carbon Emission”.
The project was carried out under three main phases. The First Phase consisted of an Inter-School Art Competition and an Inter-University Photography Competition based on the theme of Law Goes Green 2023. By conducting such competitions, the Law Goes Green Committee aimed to raise awareness about the importance of reducing carbon emissions, among school children and undergraduates and to creatively inspire future generations to reduce carbon emissions in order to create a more sustainable and resilient future. The Second Phase of the project was conducted in front of the Fort Railway Station in collaboration with the Police Environment Protection Range, and it included an Open Mic session and a street drama performance based on the consequences of carbon emissions. During the Open Mic session, eminent personalities in the field of environmental law and undergraduates of the Faculty of Law addressed the gathering in order to spread awareness at the grass-roots level as to the importance of being eco-friendly in order to minimize air pollution.
The Final Ceremony of Law Goes Green 2023, marked the third phase of the project on the 4th of April 2023. The event was graced by the presence of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Senior Professor (Chair) H.D. Karunaratne as the Chief Guest, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Nishantha Sampath Punchihewa, Professor Kokila Konasinghe, lecturers of the Faculty of Law, eminent personalities in the field of environmental law, DIG Mr Roshan Dias, police officers and undergraduates of the faculty. Further, students from even the remotest corners of the island and undergraduates of other State Universities were present at the memorable Final Ceremony of the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Law Goes Green Project.
During the ceremony winners of the Inter-School Art Competition and Inter-University Photography Competition were awarded medals and certificates and the Official Theme Song of Law Goes Green was launched. Most importantly, a prospectus Environment Policy Report which provided guidelines and recommendations to integrate developments in environmental sustainability into the practices of the University, by adopting environmentally friendly practices, was presented to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Karunaratne. While addressing the gathering, he expressed that as the university community, we should set an example to the rest of the country by being eco-friendly and help to reduce our impact on the environment and slow the pace of climate change. He also recognized the change that the Law Goes Green Project has tried to create throughout a decade and praised what the Law Goes Green 2023 Project Committee has carried out under all three phases of the project by addressing the community at the grass-roots level, school children and undergraduates. Finally, he acclaimed the initiative taken by the Law Goes Green 2023 Project Committee in order to transform the University of Colombo into a sustainable and environmental-friendly university.