SRI LANKA: Second Policy Roundtable on Marine Litter Prevention in Sri Lanka


The second PROMISE policy roundtable (Solution Prototyping) on Marine Litter Prevention in Sri Lanka was held on 24th January 2023. This was a follow-up roundtable to the first policy roundtable (Challenge Identification) held on 21 January 2022.

The second policy roundtable focused on policy benchmarking and discussion around potential adaptation to the Sri Lankan context, followed by the design and development of policy prototype solutions for the prioritised challenges and gaps with the intended target audience in mind. A total of 32 participants from 27 government institutions (including Marine Environment Protection Authority, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Fisheries, Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency), academia, NGOs, international development organizations and tourism industry associations participated in this event.

The event started at 9.30 am and Mr. Gamini Gunasekera, the Chairman of NCPC Sri Lanka welcomed the audience of the second policy roundtable. Ms. Jenny Correia Nunes, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives delivered the keynote speech emphasizing the importance of marine litter prevention in the Asian region. A brief introduction to the PROMISE project was presented by Mr. Samantha Kumarasena, Chief Executive Officer of NCPC Sri Lanka while Mr. Amarnath Munnolimath, Senior Project Manager, adelphi from Germany  as the key resource person in this policy roundtable facilitated the policy protoyping sessions.

Participants were divided into four groups and worked on prototyping solutions for 4 identified challenges. The first group worked on the challenge of lack of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms of existing policies, group suggested a M&E agency which will be constituted with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

Group 2 worked on the challenge of lack of efficient coordination between different stakeholders in waste management system. Suggested to form a nodal agency 'National Waste Management Authority' with Central and Provincial representatives, who will not only overlook all the activities of policy implementation and achieving indicators mentioned in waste management policies but also work coordinate with local authorities to come up with financially self-sustainable model for waste management.

Current EPR platform is run through Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, this may raise conflict of interest in putting corporate date on the platform. Due to lack trust and transparency industries might resist themselves to input data. Group 3 discussed a possible independent committee to be formed which can appoint PRO to run EPR policies in the country. The committee not only should have ministry representatives but also involve Development agencies and International Development banks that support EPR related activities in Sri Lanka.

Group 4 tackled a very common challenge of capacity building and awareness about waste management among different stakeholders. They suggested a solution to include waste management as a topic in school education system so that future generations thought process on waste can be changed.

In coming weeks these solution prototypes will be developed and shared with the respective participants for their further refinement suggestions and will be presented in a Public Showcasing event (third & last policy roundtable) planned in June 2023.