National Environmental Policy (LK0034)
Action Plan: Sri Lanka Action Plan 2019-2021
Action Plan Cycle: 2019
Lead Institution: Ministry in charge of Environment
Support Institution(s): Agencies under Ministry of Environment, Meteorological Department, Disaster Management Center, Institute of Policy Studies Related civil society organisations
Policy AreasDemocratizing Decision-Making, Environment and Climate, Natural Resources, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance
IRM Report: Sri Lanka Hybrid Report 2019-2021
Starred: Pending IRM Review
Early Results: No IRM Data
Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant
Climate change challenges to be comprehensively incorporated in the National Environmental Policy and the Act in a participatory manner by the Ministry in charge of Environment
1st March 2019 – 31st August 2021
Lead implementing agency/actor Ministry in charge of Environment
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Sri Lanka has been experiencing extreme weather conditions for the past decade or so and natural disasters such as prolonged droughts, flooding and landslides have become critical issues which are increasing with time. Climate related hazards are having a significant effect across the country, and particularly on poor communities in disaster-prone districts and the rural agricultural population. Loss of life and livelihood, property damage and displacement impose a strain on government finances which have been diverted to relief and recovery efforts at the cost of mid and long term development plans. Inappropriate planning processes where climate change aspects are not taken into consideration have led to the occurrence of some of the disasters. The existing National Environment Policy and the Act do not adequately address climate change concerns.
What is the commitment? The purpose of this commitment is to specifically address climate change aspects in the country’s National Environment Policy and Act and make recommendations for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Ministry in charge of the subject of environment will consult with all stakeholders to review and revise the current National Environmental Policy and Act to specifically address climate change aspects and make recommendations for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? Recognizing that the existing National Environment Policy and Act do not adequately address climate change concerns, this commitment will undertake to revise these instruments to comprehensively address climate change issues. Given the dangers of climate change, this will provide high level policy prioritization for environmental protection and disaster management that will reduce impacts especially on the poor and the vulnerable. Further, those engaged in planning and decision making need to be aware of how the climate will change in short, medium and long terms in order to decide on ways to overcome difficulties and avoid disasters.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? This commitment promotes public participation as citizens are given a voice in government policy making and opportunities to provide inputs to government decisions that affect their lives.
Additional information Sri Lanka has fulfilled all requirements under the Montreal Protocol and action plans are prepared to address SDG 13 and other goals that directly and indirectly influence climate change. Sri Lanka also signed and ratified the Paris Agreement which strengthens global response to the threat of climate change. This commitment also strengthens and promotes the implementation of the Disaster Management Act of 2005; the recommendations and commitments in the Draft Sustainable Sri Lanka: Vision & Strategic Path and the Vision 2025.
Blue Green Development Strategy for sustainable development?
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date:
1. Conduct wide stakeholder consultations to review the existing National Environmental Policy to identify gaps and areas of improvement to address climate change adaptation and mitigation. March 2019 June 2019
2. Formulate a new National Environmental Policy that will comprehensively address climate change aspects in a participatory manner. July 2019 June 2020
IRM Midterm Status Summary
11. National Environmental Policy and Act
Relevant to Open Government: Yes
Potential Impact: Minor
This commitment is carried forward from the previous action plan, aiming to gather stakeholder recommendations for climate change adaptation and mitigation, to be integrated into a new National Environmental Policy and Act. This umbrella law was originally passed in 1980 and amended in 1988, 2000, 2018, and 2019.  After the end of the implementation period, a new National Environmental Policy was drafted, and was available for public comments in September 2021.  During the public commenting period, SYLCAN Trust held a virtual open dialogue on the policy, engaging experts to submit feedback.