On the occasion of the ‘first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UNESCAP in Bangkok-Thailand, addressing the virtual meeting organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) together with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), reiterated the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to implement policies and programmes gearing to achieve clear air.
The first ever regional conversation to mark the ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’, hosted on 8th September 2020, heard remarks by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, and several other experts from UNEP, and enabled to share useful insights and experiences by member States inspiring actions and advocating solutions on how the Asia-Pacific region could build back better post-COVID-19 pandemic through regional cooperation.
Presenting the positive steps taken by Sri Lanka to preserve the overall air quality and the environment, Ms. Poornima Gunasekera, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Sri Lanka Mission to the UNESCAP said that, reducing air pollution and improving the quality of air has been a key consideration under the Sustainable Environment Policy stipulated in the National Policy Framework, ‘Vistas of Prosperity & Splendour’. Elaborating further on some of the specific actions, she said steps are already in place for monitoring ambient air quality, controlling mechanisms for vehicular emission, phasing out of leaded gasoline, introducing green building guidelines, indoor air quality guidelines and strict regulations for vehicle importation. All these steps are also in sync with Sri Lanka’s commitment towards cleaner oceans and mangrove restoration. Reiterating Sri Lanka readiness to join collective initiatives, Ms. Gunasekera stressed on the need for stronger regional collaboration on air quality improvements, especially on addressing trans boundary movements of air polutants.
The Regional Conversation on air pollution is one of six such conversations organized by the UNESCAP on Building Back Better, and is also in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, to bring together member State representatives and diverse groups of eminent personalities on the subject.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UNESCAP
09th September 2020