Sri Lanka Ports authority identified the need to engage with the local community and better communicate on port projects and their objectives. Further to the general public perception and understanding, there was also a gap to be bridged between the theoretical knowledge of academic institutions and the practical approach of port operations and marine environment protection. The community involvement and participation on port development had to be increased and the support towards making port of Colombo a green port with the involvement of the public was to be achieved.
As a result the project on building awareness of the community was implemented and continues with great success. This increased the interest and understanding of the community and developed a sense of community ownership towards the port. Moreover, this has lead academics and scientists to conduct research activities related to the port which has benefited the port overall.
The main objectives of the project can be summarized as following:
- Enhance the communication between the port and the local community
- Create a more knowledgeable community engaged on port development and sustainability initiatives
- Increase practical awareness of University and vocational students
- Involve the community and receive support for port development projects
- Improve the links between academic research and port and maritime management and practice