Sri Lanka environment seen paying price of rapid growth

Apr 30, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rapid economic growth in recent years has come at the cost of serious environmental degradation with outdated laws and existing rules not properly implemented, an expert said. Gunawansa noted how in Sri Lanka often environmental impact assessments, known as EIAs, are not done with projects passed either owing to political clout or corruption, resulting in damage to the environment.

“So we must ensure good EIAs are done before any infrastructure project is undertaken.”

The country has to deal with the problem by avoiding and mitigating risk and applying the law effectively.

This means preventing pollution at source by means of risk reduction, using the polluter pays principle which requires the cost of pollution to be borne by those who cause it.

Care of the environment should be the common task of both state and citizen.

“You must have ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches, through better education, proper guidelines, and implementation from the top on the principle of sustainability,” he said.

“The right to development must be fulfilled to equitably meet the needs of the present and future generations.” “The government has set sustainable devel