SL and the UK agree a new partnership to work together to protect marine environment

This week the Ministry of the Environment and the UK government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two nations, to protect and enhance the marine environment.

Mr. Prabath Chadrakeerthi, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Sara Rusling, Deputy Director for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) today signed the agreement that represents a united effort to work together to protect and enhance marine ecosystems to support biodiversity and good water quality, whilst also providing sustainable seafood for Sri Lankans.

Through the UK’s Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP), Sri Lanka and the UK will be collaborating to tackle the three key challenges of marine biodiversity, marine pollution and sustainable seafood. The OCPP aims to support the marine environment and to make a positive impact on the livelihoods of coastal communities that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.

The MoU recognises work that has been taking place over the last few years that includes joint research on plastic pollution, setting up new microplastics laboratories, knowledge exchange on scientific methods to support water quality monitoring and collaboration to enhance Sri Lanka’s Marine Protected Areas to meet the country’s conservation ambitions and biodiversity commitments. The programme also focuses on marine pollution emergency response techniques, with a focus on the environmental aspects of prevention, preparedness and response. Joint work has also taken place around enabling safe and sustainable seafood production, particularly with regards to aquaculture.

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