Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is the apex agency for coastal and marine environment protection in Sri Lanka and focuses on coastal and marine protection. In the past MEPA associated and collaborated with agencies that solely depended on the marine environment. As marine-based field researcher and scientist, I knew of Dilmah’s fame in the tea industry and their association with the Sri Lankan Cricket Team but never expected to work together in the future as I didn’t expect to have any common objectives with a global tea brand.
However, I was surprised when Dilmah Conservation initiated a meeting with MEPA to discuss how to be more involved and play an active role in the conservation of Sri Lanka’s marine environment. It was not just a start. It was a start with a plethora of opportunities, encouragement and consensus, paving a promising way forward.
Since then MEPA and Dilmah have organized a number of successful programs. The teams at MEPA and Dilmah work hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder bound by their common commitment towards the preservation of the marine environment of Sri Lanka. These programs focused on marine conservation in a sustainable manner. Every time MEPA collaborated with Dilmah, I was impressed by the vision and dedication of their staff, they were passionate about the environment, resultoriented and had long term vision and were truly committed to conservation.
As MEPA continued to work with Dilmah, we also started to appreciate Dilmah’s vision and realized that it was well beyond Tea and Cricket, as I had initially assumed. Dilmah was committed to its ethos of ‘Business is a matter of human service’ and it was clear to me that this attitude and generosity towards people and the planet was reflective of the founder of Dilmah, Dr. Merrill Joseph Fernando himself. His story is remarkable and inspiring. In the last 70 years Dr. Merrill J Fernando has successfully established Dilmah as a global brand and I consider him a true character and a legend of Sri Lanka and an inspiration to many.
MEPA is fortunate to work closely with Dilmah, under the patronage of the founder Dr. Merrill Joseph Fernando. We look forward to achieving new goals and broaden our vision through this collaboration and take this opportunity to wish Dr. Merrill J Fernando all the very best in his future endeavours.