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Sustainable Consumption and Production National Roundtable in Sri Lanka

Sustainable Consumption and Production National Roundtable in Sri Lanka

“Sri Lanka NEXT – A Blue Green Era” is a noteworthy event organised by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, which features three conferences and exhibition, that focus on the local and global efforts towards tackling climate change. Furthermore, the event aims to utilise knowledge gained about the global efforts as a means to support the country’s development agenda.  The first Sri Lanka NEXT event took place in 2016, making this year’s event the third of its kind. The event was held at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo on 19-20 October 2018.


Following a request from the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the AETS-managed “SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production National Policy Support Component for Sri Lanka” programme, which is funded by the European Union (EU), organised national roundtable deliberations on sustainable consumption and production to coincide with the event (on the 20th October) at the same venue. The roundtable featured discussions on case studies from various SWITCH-Asia projects related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The event provided the SWITCH-Asia programme with a good opportunity to increase the visibility of the SWITCH-Asia programme by showcasing the programme’s interventions and their respective progress in supporting the promotion of sustainable consumption and production. With most of the major project deliverables having already been completed, the project is currently in its final phases of operation, and as such this was the appropriate moment to present the project outputs to its key stakeholders and to decide the way forward.


The inaugural session was led by an internationally renowned keynote speaker, Dr. Mushtaq Memon, the Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency at the United Nations Environment, Asia Pacific Office. During his opening speech, Dr. Mushtaq Memon spoke of the ‘Circular Economy; Sustainable Resource Management & Improved Environmental Management’. Following the opening address, Ms Nalini Kohowala, Assistant Director of Environment Planning and Economics of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, welcomed all the participants of the roundtable and thanked them for their commitment. Mr Frank Hess, Minister Counsellor and Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, emphasised the importance of Sustainable Consumption and Production and its practical perspectives and applications. In addition to the various clarifying discourses, the launch of the Sustainable Consumption and Production website and its e-learning platform was also announced by the Chief Guest, the Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. Anura Dissanayake.


Overall, the event was an overwhelming success and constituted an important opportunity to present various results of the SWITCH-Asia programme, as well as to begin defining future of the programme.