Sri Lanka ranked highest in South Asia in Yale Uni. 2014 Environment Performance Index

Thursday, 5 June 2014 01:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka is ranked 69th in the 2014 Environment Performance Index (EPI) which is a Global Environment Assessment index. It stands in sharp contrast to its regional neighbours India (155) Bangladesh (169) and Pakistan (148) in the EPI which is an exhaustive environmental impact assessment study made annually by the Yale University USA. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) identifies targets for several core environmental policy categories and measures how close countries come to meet them. The EPI is a collaborative project between the Yale Centre for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University. It is supported by the World Economic Forum. The EPI is arrived at in a process that calculates and aggregates 20 indicators that reflect environmental data at the national level of each country. These indicators in turn are combined into nine issue categories, each of which fit in to one of two overarching objectives Environmental Health and Ecosystem vitality. Environmental Health includes Health Impacts, Air Quality, Water and Sanitation.  The Ecosystem Vitality takes account of Water Resources, Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Habitat, Climate and Energy. EPI index measures Environmental & Ecosystem Vitality to compare and identify the best protectors and worst offenders of the environment in the world. While Health Impacts, Air Quality Water and Sanitation make up the criteria to measure environment health, Ecosystem Vitality is measured by quality of Water Resources, Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Habitat, Climate and Energy. Sri Lanka has also defied global trend in air pollution and has shown no deterioration of the ambient air quality.  Despite the steady and sharp increase in the vehicular population which has seen a 33% increase over the past four years Sri Lanka has prevented any slide in the quality of air. This encouraging achievement is attributed to the stringent vehicle emission testing program introduced by legislation in 2008. Vehicle Transportation is a principal source of air pollution in the urban space of both developing and developed countries. However good emission monitoring mechanisms couples with clean vehicle and fuel technologies can significantly reduce air pollution from vehicles. Road vehicles produce carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides that threaten the atmosphere and are recognized as contributing to global warming. In a related development the World Health Organization in release from Geneva in March 2014 reported that in 2012 around seven million people died as a result of exposure to air pollution. This works out to one in eight of total global deaths. It doubles earlier estimates and makes air pollution the largest single environmental health risk.  Reducing air pollution can save millions of lives.