Remembering Nimal Hewanila
It is with great sadness that the Global Forest Coalition has learned about the sudden death of our dear friend and colleague Nimal Hewanila, founder of the Nirmanie Development Foundation, one of our active member groups in Sri Lanka. Nimal took the lead in facilitating the community conservation resilience assessment in Sri Lanka, and supported various important initiatives to conserve genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge on the ground. Those who had the blessing of getting to know him personally will remember him as an exceptionally kind and empathic person.
Nimal was a fierce and passionate advocate for respect for the rights and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in biodiversity policies at the local, national and international level. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy will not be forgotten. Our hearts are with his family, friends and colleagues. We wish them a lot of strength to cope with this unspeakable loss.