The Institute of Environmental Professionals, Sri Lanka (IEPSL) hasn’t made any representations to the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) on the issue of the CEA not taking legal action against local government bodies which fail to properly dispose of garbage despite provisions in law to do so, according to Karunasena Hettiarachchi, President, IEPSL.

When pointed out that IEPSL as a responsible independent body should have special focus on environment protection and the fact that the improper collection of garbage and not clearing the drains cause deadly diseases, Mr Hettiarachchi –speaking on the sidelines of the institute’s third AGM last week -, said that IEPSL is not an implementing authority.

Also asked why the Muthurajawela marsh, an environmental treasure, has been reclaimed by the government to construct a building replacing the Colombo Fish Market and another large extent of marsh being reclaimed by a private company, Mr Hettiarachchi said that they have been done after obtaining proper approval.

Mr Hettiarachchi was earlier the CEA Chairman and is the present Chairman of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. At the meeting, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Champaka Ranawaka said the South Asian Region Strategic Environmental Assessments are not practiced in the same way that it is practiced in many western countries.

He said that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process whereby the environmental impacts of policies, plans and programmes are assessed prior to implementation and is also a powerful tool to gauge the impacts.

He said the private sector is one of the main stakeholders of the present development process and thus efficient mobilization and building partnerships with the private sector is needed.