Legal reforms key to protect SL’s ocean resources: Dr. Godahewa

Thursday, 6 May 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


State Minister for Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness Dr. Nalaka Godahewa

State Minister for Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness Dr. Nalaka Godahewa highlighted the importance of bringing in necessary amendments to existing laws to prevent the destruction of the environment and

urged all citizens to join hands to conserve the ocean and coastal resources. State Minister expressed these views at the sixth National Ocean Resources Summit 2020/21.

The National Ocean Resources Summit 2020/21 under the theme ‘Ocean-Based Solutions and Policy Frame Works for Enhanced Clinical Action and Blue Economy’ was held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel with the participation of Ministry Secretary Sirinimal Perera, Senior Prof. Ajith de Alwis of Moratuwa University, Chairperson of Ocean Environment Authority Attorney-at-Law Darshani Lahandapura, General Manger Dr. P.B.T Pradeep Kumara and several other experts and dignitaries.

Speaking at the summit, State Minister Dr. Godahewa said: “Oceans belong to the citizens. Hence, all citizens have the responsibility to protect our oceans. It is the intentional and unintentional destructive human activities which has drawn the attention of the whole world to the area of ocean resources. 

“Due to lack of attention to this crucial area, there is a serious risk of losing these precious ocean and coastal resources to our future generations. When we use our land as well as ocean resources, we ought to have our future generations in mind. Because these resources belong to past, present and future generations of humanity. That is why the highest attention has been paid to managing the ocean resources, special laws have been passed and dedicated institutions are set up to conserve the ocean resources.”

The State Minister further said: “We invite all citizens to come forward to safeguard our ocean resources. Today, our beaches are polluted with plastic waste. Where does this waste come from? These polluting is not being done by the people who come to the beaches. They also pollute a little. But more than 70% of the plastic and other waste come through rivers and canals. Hence, it is necessary to create awareness amongst people living inlands. If we educate them about this aspect, I believe they will refrain from polluting rivers and canals.  Because people love the environment. 

“That’s why people raise their voice when the environment is threatened. But most of them are not aware of the unintentional damage that they are creating. Hence, we must do our best to create awareness and get them all involved in this good cause”. 

“The Coastal Resources Conservation Authority has implemented several outstanding programs to clean the beaches, rivers and canals in partnership with the private sector. Continuing the good work, we must also study how ocean resources can be used for economic progress while preserving it for future generations. We must get relevant domain experts involved. Let’s preserve our precious coastal and ocean resources with the help of experts as well as all others concerned. Let’s take a scientific approach to develop our coastal and ocean resources in order to make use of them for development while deeply committing to preserving them for our future generations.”