$ 5 m grant to implement project on chemical disposal in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 Ministry of Environment Secretary B.K. Prabath Chandrakeerthi

UNDP in Sri Lanka Resident Representative Azusa Kubota 

Participants at the workshop 

  • Global Environment Facility (GEF) supports joint initiative by Environment Ministry and UNDP
  • Workshop held to launch project to dispose of POP pesticides in agriculture sector and mercury and waste in healthcare sector

Sri Lanka does not manufacture products which contain POPs or mercury. However, many products containing these substances are imported to the country for various uses every year. Though stringent regulations have been introduced, a lack of capacity in the application of these regulations result in the continued mismanagement of chemical imports to the country.

The ‘Integrated Manag-ement and Environmentally Sound Disposal of POPs Pesticides in the Agricultural Sector and Mercury and Waste in the Healthcare Sector in Sri Lanka’ project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF VII) is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Sri Lanka. The project aims to improve the implementation of regulations, strengthen national systems and capacities in chemical management, and support the transformation of healthcare waste management systems in Sri Lanka. The inception workshop to launch the project was held in Colombo yesterday with all project stakeholders in attendance.

Highlighting the timely nature of the project, Ministry of Environment Secretary B.K. Prabath Chandrakeerthi noted: ‘‘This project contributes to fulfil the national commitments towards Stockholm, Minamata, Basel and Rotterdam Conventions while addressing other issues related management of chemicals and waste in Sri Lanka. This is a good financial and technical assistance opportunity for Sri Lanka to improve the regulatory framework related to waste and chemical management and support the transformation of healthcare waste management systems.’’

Showcasing UNDP’s efforts in spearheading the project, UNDP in Sri Lanka Resident Representative Azusa Kubota commented: “This project is particularly noteworthy due to its integrated approach, spanning both the Health and Agriculture sectors, offering a holistic strategy for chemical and healthcare waste management to address complex environmental and social challenges effectively.  It is only through a coordinated approach that we can meet the ambition of saving both people and the planet. UNDP is well-positioned to be a partner in this effort and remains firmly committed to supporting the Government of Sri Lanka and its people on their journey in building a solid chemical waste management system.” 

The inception workshop was also attended by other high-level representatives from the Government of Sri Lanka including; the Ministry of Environment; the Ministry of Agriculture; the Ministry of Education; the Central Environment Authority; Ministry of Health Provincial-level representatives ; and other key officials from the Ministry of Power and Energy; provincial councils and local Government; Registrar of Pesticides; Sri Lanka Customs; Board of Investment; Consumer Affairs Authority; Kurunagala Mun-icipal Council; EravurPattu Pradesheeya Sabha; the private sector and other relevant organisations.

The Ministry of Environment will implement the project with support from UNDP in Sri Lanka over 5 years with an expected end date of October 2029. The results and benefits of the project will contribute towards achieving SDGs 3, 5, 8, 9, 12 and GHG emission reduction targets for the country.