The Cabinet has granted approval for a proposal furnished by the Minister of Environment to implement the national policy on environmentally sensitive areas of Sri Lanka.
The objective would to provide the necessary guidance required for the conservation of the environmentally sensitive areas, as well as sustainable utilization by ensuring management access at all levels along with obtaining the participation of all sectors such as the community, private sector, state sector and experts for planning land utilization and management in those areas identifying the environmentally sensitive areas throughout the island.
The proposal was brought in the wake of numerous issues that have emerged such as degradation of ecosystems, soil erosion, drying of hydro - catchment areas / water sources as well as human – wildlife conflicts due to various human activities such as informal land use, agricultural habits as well as the irregular disposal of waste and non – sustainable utilization of national resources.
“As a result of this, the foundation of the bio – diversity and eco – systems have been threatened,” a cabinet paper noted.
“This may lead to a vicious circle of eco – systems degradation in the long run. Therefore, the purpose and the expectation of the establishment of national policy on environmental sensitive areas is to ensure a healthy, secure and conserved environment and an economy through establishment of environmentally sensitive areas aiming at an environment that socio – economic wellbeing and liveability of everyone is ensured,’ the Cabinet paper said.