The Port City project has a huge international executive force working on every aspect of its sustainable development. “We are adhering to the best development practices. For us, corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability are not just means to establish a relationship with our communities so that we can channel our philanthropy and do image management.  This project will go far beyond that.”“We genuinely believe that adhering to global best practices in sustainability is linked with economic and commercial success and this will be demanded by those who invest and live in Port City in the future. That is why we are continuing to forge real stakeholder involvement and innovative partnerships as we cannot succeed alone. Therefore, we are mindful that future generations will measure the success of this project by its environmental and social sustainability. That is why we are making investments in these areas today.” Speaking at the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka, Houliang said that Port City Colombo’s vision is to be the benchmark in environmental friendliness and sustainability. He said that the new city which will be a show piece for the rest of the world, would be a place where environmentally friendly people, organizations and visitors will want to live and do business and the transit population will be allowed to practice their environmentally friendly habits. Port City Colombo even plans to incorporate sustainability guidelines for third party developers to abide by, when they develop their individual plots of land; which is keeping with their commitment to build a completely sustainable city, extending beyond their scope as master developer. Speaking of Port City’s view on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Jiang said “Being a good corporate citizen is an important factor for any organization; however CSR priorities are not the same in different parts of the world.  For example, in a country like Sri Lanka philanthropy and community engagement play an important role.   If you are in the driving seat of a project such as the Port City, you have to be in sync with this.  At the same time one has to also be sensitive to local norms and deep rooted cultural traditions; when it comes to philanthropy projects and community engagement. Therefore, our initial foray into CSR was looking at the well-being of adjacent communities, such as the Fishermen’s Livelihood Support Society(FLSS) project we have been sponsoring in Negombo.”“We have allocated 500 million rupees towards the Sustainability and well-being of a community living to the North of Colombo. The Fishermen’s Livelihood Support Society which operates under the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Ministry and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is an initiative supported and fully funded by the Port City and its primary objective is to find meaningful ways to support fishing communities in these areas, All the programs carried out are suggested by the community and evaluated independently by officials of the two Ministries.” (Colombo Gazette) Managing Director of Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, Jiang Houliang, says sand dredging for the Port City project is being carried out after a detailed environmental impact assessment.“It is carried out in a completely sustainable manner at distances of over 7km from the shoreline, and at depths of 15 m or more. The dredging has no impact on coastal erosion or fisher livelihoods. Representatives of fishermen have come on board the dredger to personally observe the advanced technology we use. The dredgers used are the best in the world and their GPS tracking records are available for public scrutiny via internet,” he said. read more

From water storage tanks in India to safe delivery kits for pregnant women in the Maldives to fishery experts in Indonesia, the massive United Nations relief operation for the victims of the Asia’s devastating tsunami today continued to address a vast spectrum of needs, both general and specific, giant and small.In what is shaping up as the largest ever UN relief effort for a natural disaster, the world body has deployed five parallel operations to tend to the needs of nearly a dozen countries struck by the catastrophe, which killed at least 120,000 people, injured half a million more, displaced 1 million and deprived up to 5 million of basic services.”The repercussions of this tragedy are so severe that communities are going to require massive international aid for many months to come,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director James Morris said, noting that the latest carnage capped a year already marked by tragic humanitarian crises such as the conflict raging in the Darfur region of western Sudan. The following is a country-by-country snapshot of some of the latest items in the UN’s multifaceted response to the disaster: India: With contaminated water presenting the greatest threat of deadly diseases in the tsunami’s aftermath, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has begun moving nearly 2,500 500-litre water storage tanks to relief camps and distributing 3 million water purification chlorine tablets. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is planning disease prevention at district level, guarding against potential measles outbreaks and providing vitamin A and oral rehydration salts (ORS). The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is monitoring fisheries.Indonesia: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is starting an airlift on Sunday of 400 tons of shelter and other emergency supplies for an initial 100,000 people in Aceh province, among the worst and most inaccessible disaster zones. A UN joint logistics centre will be set up at the central level and in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital and a FAO emergency coordinator and a fishery expert have been sent in.Maldives: The UN country team is focusing primarily on the provision of water, food, ORS and transport. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is procuring safe delivery kits for the 4,000 expectant mothers while UNICEF is providing food, shelter and non-food items.Sri Lanka: UNFPA is carrying out reproductive health assessments. UNICEF continues to help ferry the wounded and dead to area hospitals while providing 10,000 bed sheets, towels, drinking water bottles, cooking utensils sets and mats to assist the displaced and stranded. UNHCR has been distributing non-food items.Thailand: UNFPA has deployed mobile clinics while UNICEF has begun assessing the needs of children. FAO is assisting the worst affected sectors of fisheries and agriculture. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is sending 1,000 body bags and 2,000 kilos of formalin to the devastated holiday island of Phuket. The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is focusing on education and their World Heritage Committee will assess damage to relevant areas. The UN International Labour Office (ILO) will focus on longer-term rehabilitation and employment.Somalia: FAO assessment teams have already been mobilized for a food security assessment in the field and the WFP has stockpiled 83 tons of food supplies for the worst affected areas. read more