A New Beginning For Sustainable Consumption And Production Practices In South Asian Region


Sri Lanka has a long tradition of caring for the environment

and for engaging in conservation of natural resources. 

The contribution to the global environment degradation is far below the global average. However, with the increasing population, urbanization and high consumerism have become a challenge to ensure economic prosperity in the country ensuring that the benefits of the development will filter down to all the Sri Lankan people within the framework of Sustainable Development.
The SWITCH-Asia sub regional meeting was held from 08th to 09th June 2011 at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The major theme of the networking event was to present the progress of the EU-funded SWITCH Asia projects and to assess their wider impact. The SWITCH ASIA program focuses on Sustainable Consumption and Production and directly contributes to sustainable growth and the fight against poverty. It was launched in 2007; the SWITCH-Asia program provides funding opportunities of 150 million euros over the period 2007-2013. The programs works simultaneously on the ground, with the producers, consumers and the policy makers by supporting formulation and the implementation of SCP-Related policies. So far, the program is for 30 projects in 15 Asian countries in areas such as Green Public Procurement, Cleaner Production, Eco-design, Eco-labeling etc.
 Minister of environment and natural resources Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa emphasized on the steps has been taken by Sri Lanka such as the National Cleaner production policy, Sectoral Cleaner Production policies for Health, Fisheries and Tourism etc on promoting sustainable Consumption and production, He further added   the implementations without policies are not so effective and meanwhile implementation of these policies need technical and financial resources to meet the incremental costs. H.E. Bernard Savage, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Sri Lanka and Maldives spoke on Current global economic system and the importance of new green economy to low carbon pathway. He further emphasized on importance of multi-stakeholder on implementing SCP policies.
The program has an innovative structure including three components, namely grant projects aiming to scale up SCP implementation, network facility and developing SCP policies. The policy support component strengths the development of national and regional policy. There are three ongoing projects in Sri Lanka are working on developing sustainable production in small and medium sized enterprises, namely food, beverage sector and hotel sector. The additional secretary of ministry of environment and natural resources Padmini Batuwitage highlighted the importance of a lacking factor in Sri Lanka’s sustainable development scenario which is “Collaboration”, where it has been succeeded by SWITCH Asia project.