Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Kenya Sunil de Silva presented his Letter of Appointment as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim on 09 August 2018. Mr. Solheim had been designated by the UN Headquarters to accept Letters of Appointment in the absence of the Director General of UNON.
High Commissioner Sunil de Silva, as Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, is also accredited to the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) and the to United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
During the discussion the Permanent Representative had with UNEP Executive Director following the Presentation of the Letter of Appointment, he emphasised the importance that Sri Lanka attaches to UN Peacebuilding initiatives and briefed on the Government's reconciliation process.
He also briefed the Executive Director on Sri Lanka's progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development including enactment of the Sustainable Development Act.
High Commissioner De Silva also stressed on the commitment of the Government for a Blue –Green Economic Policy. He informed the Executive Director of UNEP that the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment has prepared a National Action Programme for Combating Land Degradation comprising of 25 action programs for the period 2015-2024 and that the Government is also on an ambitious path to increase National Forest Cover up to 32% of its total land.
High Commissioner De Silva stated that the Government of Sri Lanka will share best practices and expand mutual cooperation in the conservation and sustainable utilization of mangroves in the Commonwealth. He said that, to further strengthen its commitment, Sri Lanka joined the UN Clean Seas Campaign in December 2017 and has committed to join the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) this year. He also informed that Sri Lanka will host the 19th Session of the State Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CIETS) in Colombo under the UNEP mandate.