Sri Lanka participated in the World Environment Day 2018, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in association with the global co-host for this year, the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations on 5 June 2018.
“Beat Plastic Pollution” the theme for World Environment Day 2018, urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastics, polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.
Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Dr. Rohan Perera P.C., intervening in the discussion underlined the importance of the theme of “Beat Plastic Pollution” given Sri Lanka’s location at the heart of the Indian Ocean and the threat it posed to marine life, as well as the negative impacts on tourism. He underlined the need for a multi-stakeholder approach and for the Government, the private sector and civil society to come together and implement joint programmes. He identified the youth and children as valuable assets in the campaign for “Beat Plastic Pollution” as “our children and youth are far ahead of adults with regard to their environmental consciousness and their commitment”. He underlined the need for creating greater social awareness among all sections of society.
Dr. Perera in his intervention also referred to the fact that Sri Lanka was collaborating with the UN Resident Representative’s office in Colombo in disseminating the message of “Beat Plastic Pollution” and also mentioned the fact that the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York had committed to refrain from single-use plastic cutlery at events organized by the Mission. Several other States including Sweden, Canada and Philippines also made interventions. The Canadian DPR referred to the intervention made by Sri Lanka and also emphasized the importance of harnessing the potential of youth and children in the campaign to “Beat Plastic Pollution”.