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Sri Lanka

SCP Context

Sri Lanka National Context for SCP and Connection to the Global Agenda

Sri Lankan government has taken significant steps in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the Agenda 2030, including setting up a dedicated ministry and a council for Sustainable Development. Under SDG 12, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) has been practiced in Sri Lanka for a long time; yet, progress has been slow due to a range of implementation challenges. Against this background, the European Union under the SWITCH-Asia program provided funding as support for a National Policy Support Component (NPSC), which was implemented from 2015 to 2019). A draft for a national policy on SCP has been developed and handed to the government for approval. Baseline data on sustainable production for the three priority sectors, i.e. tea, rice and dairy from the food and beverages industry, is made available.[1]

The project also introduced national SCP indicators, and a SCP education plan and resource pack for the university and the tertiary education system. Financial instruments for SCP are introduced and a national strategy and actions on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) is made available. The NPSC developed a SCP knowledge database, an e-learning platform, and conducted a number of awareness and capacity building programmes on SCP, reaching approximately 4,000 people. As a key outcome of the NPSC, a dedicated SCP cell was established at the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MoMDE), which includes SCP focal points from further line ministries. In addition, a dedicated SCP forum (formerly known as Inter-Agency Expert Working Group) facilitates the coordination of activities across different ministries. Together, the SCP cell, the SCP focal points and the SCP forum serve as the pillars of SCP in Sri Lanka.

Challenges 

  • Lack of awareness on SCP and tools, which support purchasing decisions (e.g. eco labels and guidelines for SPP) poses a barrier to increasing the market penetration of sustainable goods and services. Limited availability of and access to information about the environmental performance of different products – e.g. based on Life Cycle Assessments – poses a challenge. 
  • Absence of appropriate incentive schemesbased on (e.g.) EPR which currently represent a novelty in the country. As a result, the industry remains reluctant to promote and implement eco-designs and further develop markets for environmentally friendly products.
  • Lack of unified or harmonized classification systemsfor data sets which hampers monitoring efforts for tracking progress towards SCP. 
  • Policiesand governance structures related to local or regional jurisdictions are widely common and these often fail to provide adequate attention to the SCP aspectsdue to the complex structure of the governance system \ and a lack of coordination between national plans and programmes.

Opportunities 

  • Growing demand for green productscan be observed, which drives the need for introducing sustainable public procurement.
  • Development of a SPP National Strategy and Actions, and a Draft National SPP policy under the recently concluded NPSC (January 2019)has created significant momentum, which can be further capitalized to develop a coherent and effective eco-labelling system.
  • As for the operationalization and delivery of the SCP Action Plan, the identification of three priority sectors (tea, dairy and rice/paddy) provides a starting point for further actions.
  • Already gained momentum created by the NPSC project and the open interest and willingness to take action on the part of the government. The draft SCP policy framework developed during the course of the project is already partially approved by the governmental bodies and the next steps for formalization are laid out. 

[1]Draft Way Forward: Outcomes of the NPSC Sri Lanka under SWITCH Asia, 2019

SWITCH-Asia Activities

2018

SCP Facility 

  • Preliminary assessment of SCP related policies, activities, needs/gaps, and opportunities.

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Sri Lankan key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

2019

SCP Facility 

  • A multi-stakeholder consultation was organised on 13 February 2019.
  • A demand for support was addressed by the National Focal Point in April 2019. 
  • Follow-up activities will be considered in relation to outcomes of the National SCP Action Plan to be completed later this year.

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Sri Lankan key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

2020

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Sri Lankan key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

2021

Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC)

Facilitated the participation of Sri Lankan key-stakeholders in the following regional/ sub-regional activities:

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