Industrial and economic growth had negatively affected the environment surrounding Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister of Environment and Mahaweli Development Anuradha Jayaratne said addressing the Global Environment Forum 2016 in China recently.
Jayaratne said possible pollution risks were very high with the further expansion of the industrial sector, especially on the marine environment.
He said coastal pollution was becoming a very hot issue in the country and globally. As a result, sea biodiversity was facing high risks and showing species extinction situation even at present level.
On the subject of ‘Embracing a new era with eco- civilization, he said some important new avenues that were being opened by his government to face global challenges of climate change resulting in natural disasters, Jayaratne said.
He said the government would take measures to prevent greenhouse gas emission and deforestation in the country.
“We launched Sri Lanka NEXT – A Blue Green Era, a land mark campaign to ensure the development of low carbon path ways for sustainable development by minimizing the impact of climate change on human life, eco systems, natural assets and the economy in January to mitigate the environment impacts of new industries,” Jayaratne said.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority of Sri Lanka was devoted to the ocean conservation as an island in the Indian Ocean and a substantial amount of the country’s income was generated from tourism due to its beautiful beaches and marine life, the Deputy Minister said.
Jayaratne said the relevant ministries had adopted strict policies to prevent over fishing in order to ensure the safety and longevity of marine life and regulations were in place to prevent fishing in breeding seasons at different locations. The government also had a zero tolerance on marine pollution and waste disposal at sea and a well-established policy framework to protect the marine life.