The Centre for Environmental Law and Policy (hereinafter CELP) of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, is a pioneering educational and research institution focused on the conservation and restoration of the environment through law and policy. A unique feature of CELP is that its membership stands out in terms of its diversity in gender, ethnicity, religion, and geographical location. CELP is home to researchers from a broad range of disciplines such as law, science, management, and many other fields, all united by their shared interest in conserving the environment for future generations. The CELP logo was carefully designed in order to represent all these characteristics.
- The Guardstone
The Guardstone or Muragala, a very familiar symbol in ancient Sri Lankan architecture, is the most prominent feature of the CELP logo. Bordered by a leafy vine, this modified version of the traditional Guardstone holds great meaning. Used in historical architecture to protect the entrance to a building of great importance, the Guardstone in the CELP logo symbolises the similar protective role of CELP since it is dedicated towards the protection and conservation of nature and its riches in Sri Lanka and beyond. In the original version of the Guardstone, the Nagaraja – the central figure of the Guardstone – is sheltered by the hood of a seven-headed cobra, the symbolic guardian of water and treasure. In one hand he holds a punkalasa (a clay pot filled with water and a coconut flower) which represents prosperity. In his other hand is a budding branch of leaves and flowers. However, in the CELP logo, the Nagaraja and the budding branch signify the importance of fauna and flora in the natural environment. Hence, the guardian values the natural environment as a whole and balances the existence of both fauna and flora, thereby indicating that the prosperity of any land is dependent on the protection of both.
- The Double-Leafed Vine
The Guardstone symbolising the protection of the environment is bordered by a vine with only two leaves which symbolises the principle of intergenerational equity. The larger leaf painted in a darker green represents the present generation and it is connected at the stem to a younger, tender leaf painted in a lighter green. The smaller leaf signifies the future generation and represents CELP’s mission to build a platform where likeminded individuals of this generation can research, collaborate, learn and engage in order to build an environmentally conscious society that will last for generations. Together, it is the duty and the responsibility of these two generations to protect the environment as depicted by the vine which borders the Guardstone.
- The Lettering
Beneath the Guardstone is the abbreviation ‘CELP’, written using the English alphabet to address the global community. However, on second glance, one finds that it actually follows the style of Sinhala and Tamil script. The name is intentionally and artistically stylised to resemble the two national languages in Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil. This represents Sri Lanka’s deep historical roots extending back over more than 2500 years and a heritage which valued eco-centric sustainability and conservation. Hence, using these artistic letters is a tribute to CELP’s Sri Lankan identity.
There are six different shades of Green Colour in the main CELP Logo.