SL balances environmental boundaries with human needs - President

TPL | Published: 2:17 PM Oct 27 2021
Politics SL balances environmental boundaries with human needs - President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa say that Sri Lanka, with its rich philosophical heritage shaped by the teachings of the Buddha, fully understands the importance of balancing environmental boundaries with human needs.

He was participating in the High-Level Meeting on Delivering Climate Action for People, Planet and Prosperity convened by Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

It is in progress under the patronage of UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York and the heads of states of member countries and representatives joined the conference via video technology.

President Rajapaksa said that the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed states’ capacities, just when they were needed most to address our climate priorities.

He stressed that developed nations must fulfil their commitments to help the planet heal and said they need meaningful multilateral and bilateral support to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

“This will create new opportunities for green growth that enhances future prosperity. The time to act is now,” he said.

"We are at a critical time in human history. As such, climate change needs to be addressed urgently and decisively.”

The President noted that as a developing, tropical island nation, Sri Lanka is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world.

“Our rich, philosophical heritage, shaped by the teachings of Lord Buddha, has instilled in us the importance of balancing ecological concerns with human needs.”

Internationally, Sri Lanka is proud to be a co-lead of the Energy Compact for ‘No New Coal Power’.

Sri Lanka also leads the Action Group on Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods under the Commonwealth Blue Charter Initiative," he said.

Additionally, the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management seeks to have nitrogen waste by 2030.

To have an accumulative effect, all countries must come together to do this, he added.

Sri Lanka seeks to halve nitrogen waste by 2030 through the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management.

The President assured that Sri Lanka’s domestic policy framework has a focus on sustainability.

To give effect to this, he said the country is taking steps to limit overuse of artificial fertilizers, thereby addressing health concerns as well as helping reduce Nitrogen waste.

Sri Lanka targets achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and the country is moving towards the aim to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources to 70% of national energy needs by 2030.

“On the energy side, we aim to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources to 70 per cent of national energy needs by 2030. We are also working towards enhancing national forest cover.”

To achieve these laudable objectives, President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka welcomes assistance through technology transfers, skills development, investment, and financing support for our sustainable development agenda.

During the discussion, the focus was on the existing and required gap between the technical skills and financial capacities and on how to bridge the gap.

TPL | Published: 2:17 PM Oct 27 2021

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