Environment Ministry Goes All-out To Attain Target Of Halving N Waste

Shakila Ifham

June 25, 2023


The Ministry of Environment, as the National Focal Point of the Sustainable Nitrogen Management (SNM) is mandated to coordinate and monitor activities to halve N Waste in Sri Lanka, Minister of Environment Eng. Naseer Ahamed said.
Environment Minister Eng. Naseer Ahamed, speaking at the First Symposium on Sustainable Nitrogen Management collaboratively organized by Ministry of Environment and University of Peradeniya at Grand Monarch Hotel, Thalawathugoda, added that his Ministry may not be able to carry out activities related to SNM without the assistance of other agencies.
“We would also like to request assistance from other stakeholders such as the government agencies, private sector, academia, researchers and international originations in this endeavor. I am sure, together, we may be able to halve N waste in Sri Lanka by 2030”, he added.
This symposium will be a platform for policymakers, academics, Researches, administrative officers and all other stakeholders to discuss migratory solutions to curb N pollution in Sri Lanka and provide their insights to develop a road map to halve N waste in Sri Lanka, he explained.
N pollution is one of the major global environment issues in this century. Multiple sectors including agriculture, transportation, industry and energy sectors have increased their share of N pollution and related greenhouse gas emissions due to growing anthropogenic demands.
He also said that a number of environmental problems, caused by N waste emitted into air, water soil and ecosystems by our production systems, are developing into serious issues that must be urgently address with strong policy interventions.
At the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5) in Nairobi, UN Member States from around the world have agreed to accelerate efforts to tackle the global nitrogen challenge by 2030 and beyond, he pointed out.
The ‘Resolution on Sustainable Nitrogen Management’ has been proposed by Sri Lanka and was co-sponsored by Brazil, the Maldives, Pakistan and Uganda, championing the cause for sustainable nitrogen use on Planet Earth. The resolution was adopted by UN Member States in March 2022.
The UNEA resolution 5.2 adopted takes the next steps toward these goals, agreeing to: “Encourage member states to accelerate actions to significantly reduce nitrogen waste globally by 2030 and beyond through the improvement of sustainable nitrogen management. Prior to that, in October 2019 with active involvement of Sri Lanka, the UN member states endorsed a roadmap for actions needed to tackle N challenges and adopted the Colombo Declaration with aim to ‘halve nitrogen waste’ from all sources. It is estimated that this initiative can save US$100 billion annually.
As a Proponent of the UNEA 5.2 Resolution on sustainable nitrogen Management, the Ministry of Environment is responsible for providing insights to develop the National Action Plan for Sustainable Nitrogen Management with the collaboration of our stakeholders. Ministry of Environment has established inter-agency committee for Sustainable Nitrogen Management and subcommittees to work on development of National Action Plan on SNM.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Ministry Secretary Gunadasa Samarasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasinghe,  Vice Chancellor, University of Peradeniya Prof. M. D. Lamahewa, Director General, SACEP Dr. Masumar Rahaman, and Director UKRI GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub Prof. Mark Sutton were among the participants.