Unilever and UNDP handover PPP policy paper to President’s secretary

Sept 17, 2018 (LBO) – Outlining plans to support Sri Lanka in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Unilever Sri Lanka and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over a policy action paper for the promotion of public private partnerships for sustainable development to the secretary to President.

The policy paper highlights the immediate next steps that need to be taken to align project goals to the wider national agenda.

The paper was the direct result of last year’s Unilever-UNGC-UNDP Forum which brought together Sri Lanka’s business leaders in the private sector, the public sector, and key development partners to work on driving mutually beneficial partnerships towards the achievement of key priorities related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a signatory of the SDGs in 2015 Sri Lanka has committed to making a sustainable change today for a better tomorrow.

“It is important to understand that we stand at the precipice of far reaching change and change at that magnitude cannot be achieved by any one entity alone,” Udaya Seneviratne, secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, said.

“It needs the cooperation of an entire nation – both the public and private sectors working in unison towards a common goal. I look forward to seeing the steps outlined in this policy paper in action.”

The policy paper outlines several projects targeted at specific SDGs. These include project sustainability which will target sustainable agriculture.

The aim of the project is to ensure that all tea produced in Sri Lanka comply with sustainable agricultural practices by 2020. Partners in the project are Unilever Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence, Dialog Axiata, and Sri Lanka Tea Federation.

“The changes required by the SDGs are neither small nor narrow,” Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka, said.

“Only together can we bring long term sustainable change to the nation and help propel its growth. We look forward to working closely with our partners – in both the public and private sectors – to bring about the change Sri Lanka needs.”ntial for change.

Project GramaShakthi will target the economic inclusion of women by reaching out to directly engage with women in 7000 (50%) villages across the island and provide them with housing, education and encouragement to become entrepreneurs. Partners in the project are the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women & Child Affairs, Unilever Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank &MAS.

Project Sunlight will target waste management by converting 5000 retail outlets to solar energy by 2020. Partners in the project are the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, Unilever Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank, and Aitken Spence.

This year’s forum, which is set to take place shortly, will tackle four more key areas of national importance thereby scaling for impact and widening the footprint of these PPPs.

The four areas are namely conservation of threatened species & sustainable tourism; water management; community empowerment; and chronic kidney disease prevention. Ultimately, within a framework of collaboration, these partnerships will steer Sri Lanka towards a sustainable future.

“Sustainable development is the future and by investing in it now, we are securing Sri Lanka’s place in that future,” Jorn Sorensen, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director, said.

“However, to achieve sustainable development we will need the Government, businesses and development partners to work together towards our collective vision for the nation.”