The Anuradhapura district special environment conference organized by the Environmental Conservation National Programme has commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.
The conference is held at the Salgadu Grounds, Anuradhapura today (14), according to the President’s Media Division.
In this conference, which is held under the patronage of the President as the Minister of Environment, special attention is drawn to the environmental issues faced by the people in the Anuradhapura district, and the wild elephants’ issue faced by the people in the district.
The religious leaders, including the Maha Sangha, public servants and school children are participating in this conference and the main objective is to apprise the public about the importance of environment protection through them. Meanwhile, waste management, water resource conservation and forest conservation are also to be given broad attention.
After taking the Ministry of Environment under the purview of the President, the comprehensive environmental conservation national programme was introduced by President Sirisena under the concept, Sri Lanka Next: “A Blue-Green Era”. At present, this broad programme has been strongly implemented with the joint assistance of all the institutions under the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the PMD said.
The activities taken to build a Green economy included the concept of Green buildings, the programmes to generate renewable energy, systematic waste management programmes, developing environmental conservation through eco-friendly dialogue, nominating Presidential awards for the environment, strengthening the national environment mission programmes and tree planting programmes. Such an environmental conservation programme was immediately introduced to the country in the year of 2015 at the Global Summit for World Leaders at Paris, France, making Sri Lanka a prominent Asian country properly aligned with the global agreements they have reached.
The PMD’s release said, towards the protection of the environment, the President has taken some important decisions recently and the illegal sand mining near rivers and channels, making the presentation of the reports of constructions mandatory towards reducing floods, and other environmental issues, are some of its priorities. Prohibiting the usage of polythene as well as granting a license for the Chainsaw machinery and obtaining assistance from the Tri Forces to conserve the environment are some of the decisions taken by the President towards protecting the environment for the future.
The country’s forest cover, which is currently at 28%, is expected to grow to 32% within the next few years. The objectives of the President’s guidance are to minimize the destruction of Sri Lanka’s forest by 1% per annum to achieve this objective, according to the PMD. Under this program, tree planting programs for school children, the state sector and the general public were implemented island wide with state patronage.
The President will provide financial assistance for the distribution of fruit plants to the school children and fruit planting project in the Anuradhapura district, financial assistance for the project for the thousand ‘Mee’ tree planting in the district, and the provision of state funds for a new project to prevent illicit waste management in the city of Anuradhapura at this meeting. A program to distribute 5000 rainwater tanks with the assistance of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment will also commence at this event, the PMD further said.