- Basil Rajapaksa to chair 46-member team; includes 5 Cabinet Ministers, a Governor, 14 State Ministers and 1 female MP
- Task force aims to save foreign exchange outflows, achieve a high advantage in the emerging global economic pattern, prepare people for an eco-friendly socio-economic model
- Responsible to pay special attention to 24 other issues in relation to environmental protection
- Tasked to prepare roadmap for complete transition from chemical to organic farming
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday appointed a Presidential Task Force to transform Sri Lanka’s economy into a green socio-economy with sustainable solutions to climate change.
The new initiative was named the ‘Presidential Task Force on Creating a Green Sri Lanka with Sustainable Solutions to Climate Change’.
Chaired by Basil Rajapaksa, the task force comprises 46 members including five Cabinet Ministers, a Governor, 14 State Ministers and a female Member of Parliament.
The precursor to the task force was the Cabinet in April approving the overall policy framework and proposals contained in the Cabinet Memorandum submitted by President Rajapaksa, to transform Sri Lanka towards a green socio-economic model with sustainable solutions to climate change.
The President has received a resounding mandate to overcome the challenges in the areas of biodiversity, use of fertilisers, land, atmosphere, waste disposal, industries, renewable energy, settlements and urbanisation, and environmental education as emphasised in the ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ policy framework.
At present, State funds are being spent in large amounts for chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. People are losing their livelihoods and their health is deteriorating due to diseases caused by polluted rivers, lakes, sluices and soil pollution. Difficulties in obtaining non-toxic foods are also increasing.
The Presidential Task Force has been appointed with the objective of achieving a number of eco-friendly aims, including saving foreign exchange outflows, enabling the country to achieve a high advantage in the emerging global economic pattern and preparing the people for an eco-friendly socio-economic model.
The task force has a responsibility to pay special attention to 24 other issues in relation to environmental protection.
Another main responsibility of the task force is to prepare a roadmap for the complete transition from chemical farming to organic farming using organic fertiliser products instead of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.
The President has directed the task force to coordinate with the Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication and the Presidential Task Force for ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ (Dialogue with the Village) Rural Development.
The other members of the task force are Ministers R.M.C.B. Ratnayake, Chamal Rajapaksa, Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Ramesh Pathirana, Governor Anuradha Yahampath, State Ministers Duminda Dissanayake, Arundika Fernando, Roshan Ranasinghe, Kanaka Herath, Janaka Wakkumbura, Mohan de Silva, Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Kanchana Wijesekara, S. Viyalanderan, D. B. Herath, Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Seetha Arambepola and Channa Jayasumana, MP Manjula Dissanayake, Dr. M.W.N. Dharmawardena, Jayampathy Molligoda, Jayantha Wickramasinghe, Prof. Sudheera Ranwala, Dr. G.A.S. Premakumara, Specialist Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, Dr. D.M.J.B. Senanayake, Prof. S. Ananda Kulasuriya, Dr. T. L. Gunaruwan, Prof. P.I. Yapa, Dr. H.M.G.S.B. Hitinayake, Dr. Azeez Mubarak, Dr. Yasantha Mapatuna, Dr. Krish Dharmakeerthi, Sachithra Yapa, Wicky Wickramatunga, Herman Gunaratne, Dhammika Kobbekaduwa, Devaka Wickramasuriya, Jeevaka Atapattu, Dilshan Fernando, Mohamed Anees Junaid, Dilith Jayaweera and Vijith Welikala.