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Round Table Discussion of HE the Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean with Senior Officials of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka

HE the Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean has visited the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka on 11 October 2018 during his visit to Sri Lanka for "The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future" conference from 11-12 October 2018 in Colombo. Ambassador Peter Thompson had a round table discussion with the Secretary and senior officials of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.

Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry welcoming HE the Ambassador Peter Thomson explained Sri Lanka's dimension in managing and conserving the Indian Ocean. Elaborating further he highlighted Sri Lanka's initiatives towards this such as joining United Nations Clean Seas Campaign, International Coral Reef Initiative, championing the Commonwealth Blue Charter action group for Restoration of Mangrove, and the support extended to the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance.alt

Further UN Special Envoy was briefed about the Sri Lankan context with regard to marine pollution as well as policy initiatives Sri Lanka has taken to minimize land-based plastic pollution to the ocean environment by imposing ban on single use plastic utilization including shopping bags, carry bags, lunch sheets and extended polystyrene lunch boxes, use of polythene for decorative purposes, especially the use of polythene in political, social and cultural events and banning the burning of polythene and plastics in open spaces. Collaborative efforts on projects in the pipeline, particularly the "Coastal Zone Beach Care Takers" programme and establishment of sixty beach parks along the coastline were also highlighted.

H E the Ambassador Thomson appreciated the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka to control plastic pollution and beach cleanup programmes which help to prevent plastics entering into the ocean and efforts for recycling for useful end products.

Sri Lanka's mangrove diversity, the identified conservation projects and ground level achievements were also presented highlighting the initiative to restore mangrove ecosystem, as a contrition towards Sri Lanka's pledge to Champion the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group for Mangrove Restoration.

altAmbassador Peter Thomson welcomed Sri Lanka's momentous efforts for restoring mangrove and expressed his willingness to support to strengthen the capacity of the country to conserve mangrove ecosystems. He further appreciated Sri Lanka's road map to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14; Life Under Water and pledged to collaborate towards the common agenda.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2018 09:44