The final day of the Sri Lanka NEXT Conference and Exhibition organised by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment came to an end today, October 19, 2016 at an official closing ceremony attended by Speaker of Parliament, Sri Lanka HE Karu Jayasuriya. Held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Hall in conjunction with a number of side events including the 5th Asia Pacific Forum on Climate Change Adaptation organised by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, the Conference had its soft launch on Monday, October 18.
“We are fortunate to have a President who has taken personal interest in the environment. As Minister of Environment, not only has he initiated Sri Lanka NEXT, but has also set out the ‘Blue-Green’ economic pathways available. As the Government, we are pleased with the outcome of this Conference. We are now waiting to see the ground level implementation of the recommendations of the Conference and the Forum. As the Government, we are also willing to extend the maximum assistance needed in implementing these recommendations,” said Speaker of Parliament, Sri Lanka HE Karu Jayasuriya.
The Speaker went on to discuss the Paris Agreement that was decided upon at the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris, France last December wherein all countries agreed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on the changing climate.
“Sri Lanka is among the 81 countries that have thus far ratified the Paris Agreement. However, this ratification was made only following a four-day parliamentary debate. Despite the arduous process, we are also pleased to know that there are so many opinions on climate change because of the knowledge and discussion generated around it,” Jayasuriya went on to say. The Agreement comes in to force on November 04, 2016.
The three-day Conference included a number of side events that paved way to many key findings, knowledge sharing opportunities and networking prospects. One of the side events, the SWITCH-Asia Network Facility Programme held on Tuesday October 18 focused on the role of sustainable consumption and production in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Attending the Conference was SWITCH-Asia Network Facility Team Leader Dr Uwe Weber who said, “One of the key findings from our Programme was to have an integrated approach when searching for solutions. It is vital for local authorities, small and medium enterprises and the private sector to be spoken to when seeking local solutions for mitigation and adaptation concerns.”
The ‘Sri Lanka NEXT: “A Blue-Green Era”’ was launched in January 2016 by President HE Maithripala Sirisena. The Conference was an important part in taking forward the programme and a continuation to many of the discussions that are already taking place.
The Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment of Sri Lanka is on a vision to create a healthy and pleasant environment sustaining nature for the well being of the people and the economy.
For more information please contact Gamini Wijesinghe on +94 773 109419 or Vositha Wijenayake on +94 777 597 387