President Ranil Wickremesinghe intends to establish a dedicated task force focused on preventing environmental pollution and safeguarding the environment, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka said.
He said this task force will be responsible for formulating, implementing and monitoring environmental protection initiatives.
He also said that the government has resolved to undertake a comprehensive restructuring of the government institutions entrusted with environmental responsibilities.
Mr. Ratnayaka highlighted that a committee will be established to bolster environmental protection laws and facilitate the restructuring efforts, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
He made these remarks during his participation in a beach cleaning programme held at the Beach Plaza in the Port City on the occasion of the International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICCD) and the commencement of Marine Resources Conservation Week.
Numerous institutions, including the Maritime Environment Protection Authority, Coastal Conservation Department and local government bodies, are actively involved in managing environmental concerns. Notably, the Navy, while not primarily responsible, provides valuable support in these efforts. Additionally, there are designated tourism zones governed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Board.
In recognition of the need for more effective environmental governance, we have made the decision to restructure these government agencies with environmental responsibilities. To oversee this restructuring, a dedicated committee will be appointed. Moreover, the aim is to fortify existing environmental laws following the reorganization process. In tandem with these initiatives, President Ranil Wickremesinghe intends to establish a task force. This task force's mandate will encompass the development, execution and supervision of activities aimed at addressing environmental concerns.
Through these comprehensive programmes, we aspire to enhance public awareness and implement sustainable measures to mitigate environmental pollution.
The environment holds immense significance for the present and future generations. Failing to safeguard it could result in dire consequences for the generations to come. Furthermore, the sustainability of Sri Lanka’s economy can be ensured only through the protection of our environment. It is crucial to acknowledge that the responsibility for environmental preservation cannot rest solely with the government," he said.