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Sri Lanka faces environment conservation crisis

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): In the wake of several countries worldwide combating climate change and its impacts that follow, the Environment Ministry cautioned that Sri Lanka is in an environmental conservation crisis.

The tackling of the crisis needs to be done sooner than later but conserving these species will have an enormous impact on securing global biodiversity, the ministry warned.

“Sri Lanka is an ideal illustration of the issues that plague the tropics. It is a biodiversity hotspot; however, a significant proportion of our endemic species are diminishing.

Sri Lanka is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. The country experiences on average US $ 313 million in annual disaster losses,” said Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe.

Yet, Sri Lanka has been lauded as a success story for achieving high levels of human development while pursuing low-carbon growth, he added.

Sri Lanka has submitted the Climate Prosperity Plan to the UNFCCC, under which the country’s long-term low GHG emission strategy requires US $ 26 billion.

The island nation needs US $ 6.5 billion per year, if it is to successfully mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Sri Lanka is only just getting its bearings following the worst economic crisis the country has ever seen. It is evident that Sri Lanka and many other countries in the tropics with identical cases require concerted support from the global community.

The tropics are a catalytic accelerator of solutions to the triple planetary crisis—investments in the tropical belt are investments towards global progress on this front.

Meanwhile, National Experts Committee on Climate Change Adaptation Member Prof. Buddhi Marambe stressed that Sri Lanka needs a paradigm shift, moving beyond geo-political differences and boundaries.

“Investing in the tropical belt could be a unique and effective way to combat the triple planetary crisis. Higher investments in renewable energy, nature-based solutions and pollution control in the tropical belt can lead to significant, transformative changes across the world,” he said.

In place is a Tropical Belt Climate Ambition Plan and a proposed debt relief for low-income economies within the belt. The two efforts are poised to make a substantial contribution to advancing the Secretary General’s Acceleration Agenda.

As Sri Lanka prepares for COP28, the Tropical Belt Climate Ambition Plan is not just a global call to action but also a demonstration that tangible and ambitious action to credibly cut emissions and deliver climate justice is possible and practical, noted UNDP Sri Lanka Resident Representative Azusa Kubota.

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