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Biogas, Biomass, and Solar Project Steering Committee meeting held in SL

June 25, Colombo (LNW): The Biogas, Biomass, and Solar South-South and Trilateral Cooperation Project’s Strategic Steering Committee convened in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 12-14 June.

The meeting, attended by 30 key stakeholders, focused on reviewing the project’s achievements and outcomes, and included an independent evaluation to derive lessons learned and provide sustainability recommendations.

Attendees also participated in site visits to Wennappuwa, Kurunegala, and Trincomalee. This project, a collaboration between the governments of China, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims to enhance access to clean and renewable energy in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

It facilitates mutual exchanges of expertise and technologies among the participating countries.

This initiative involves multiple entities, including the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), the Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia (MoWE), the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA), the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21 (ACCA21), and China Agricultural University (CAU).

Coordination is managed by UNDP China, with implementation by UNDP Ethiopia and UNDP Sri Lanka.

Operating under the South-South and Trilateral Cooperation framework, UNDP Sri Lanka has overseen the Biogas, Biomass, and Solar Trilateral Cooperation (TSSC) Project from 2019-2024.

The project spans five provinces and includes the deployment of 262 Solar Powered Renewable Energy Technology (RETs) applications.

These technologies, such as solar PV systems, solar-powered greenhouses, cold rooms, solar-powered aerators for shrimp farms, solar-powered sprayers, solar animal repellers, and solar insect traps, benefit over 233 individuals, including 80 women and 200 vulnerable groups.

Significant project outcomes include developing an Energy Data Management System (EDMS) for monitoring energy savings, supported by SLSEA, distributing IT equipment across five provinces for data collection and updating the EDMS, and creating Provincial Energy Plans for the agriculture sector in the Eastern, North-Western, Northern, Southern, and Uva provinces.

During the summary workshop, Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative of UNDP Sri Lanka, remarked on the project’s impact, highlighting its role in advancing innovative development solutions and transformative change towards net-zero development pathways.

She noted that the project supports Sri Lanka’s national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and aids vulnerable farming communities in achieving sustainable incomes through renewable energy technology transfers.

Dr. Sulakshana Jayawardena, Secretary of the Ministry of Power & Energy, underscored the importance of South-South cooperation for national development.

He acknowledged the pilot project’s success in fostering mutual understanding and sharing renewable energy technology expertise between China and Sri Lanka. Dr. Jayawardena expressed optimism about expanding such cooperative efforts to support Sri Lanka’s accelerated energy transition towards carbon neutrality.

Mr. Chen Qizhen, Deputy Director General of ACCA21, praised the project’s collaborative efforts in sharing renewable energy technologies and experiences.

He emphasised the project’s role in addressing energy poverty and promoting green, low-carbon development through innovative solutions like solar, biogas, and biomass energy, alongside technical training and project demonstration sites.

Ms. Charu Bist, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Ethiopia, highlighted the project’s impact on Ethiopia, noting the country’s significant electricity access deficits.

She stressed that improving energy access not only promotes social equality and health but also enhances access to essential services, education, and information.

Ms. Beate Trankmann, Resident Representative of UNDP China, commented on the broader implications of the project amid stalled global progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She emphasised the critical role of partnerships like this in addressing climate action challenges and providing clean, renewable energy access to vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, thereby supporting sustainable growth and improved livelihoods.

South-South cooperation exemplifies solidarity among countries of the South, contributing to national well-being, self-reliance, and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The engagement of UNDP in Trilateral Cooperation enhances the value of these efforts.

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