Sri Lanka is a highly vulnerable country to the current and projected impacts of climate change. It was one of the first countries to ratify the historic Paris Agreement and is currently setting up the mechanisms to implement its national targets. So far, Sri Lanka has communicated their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and ‘Means of Implementation’ (technology transfer, capacity building and climate finance). Understanding the roles that sub-national governments can play is crucial for Sri Lanka’s transformation towards a climate resilient, low-emission development pathway.
Sri Lanka had expressed interest to join the technical assistance opportunity under the LEDS GP Multi-level Governance and Climate Action Teams for ‘Accelerating Sub-national Implementation and Raising National Ambitions’.
One of the first productions of this effort was an Institutional Mapping Exercise carried out with guidance from the Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (the climate change focal point of Sri Lanka), the local NGO Janathakshan GTE, and with support from the LEDS GP Working Group on Multi-level Climate Governance and Sub-national Integration. The mapping exercise sought to identify the institutions, roles and functions – including those at sub-national levels – in designing and implementing low-emission development pathways to achieve Sri Lanka’s NDC.
In June 2018, Janathakshan GTE worked with the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment to host a two-day technical consultation meeting in Colombo to discuss the preliminary results. Participants in the consultation meeting included key institutions and actors at the national and sub-national levels from across the country.
The technical consultation workshop aimed to achieve three specific objectives:
Share and discuss an institutional mapping exercise carried out for sub-national implementation of Sri Lanka’s NDC;
Obtain stakeholder inputs on the potential roles and responsibilities of different institutions, especially at the sub-national level in designing and implementing Sri Lanka’s NDC; and
Discuss potential strategies and next actions.
During the workshop, attendees strengthened the Institutional Mapping Exercise and refined the relevant organizations and institutions involved with designing and implementing Sri Lanka’s low emission development policies.
As an output, this report summarizes the workshop presentations and identifies the key outcomes and challenges to subnational implementation of Sri Lanka’s NDCs, with special reference to mitigation.
The challenges are:
Lack of awareness and capacity: The knowledge and capacities within provincial councils and local government authorities on climate change remains low. Without minimum critical awareness on climate change it is unlikely to be integrated to general development planning and implementation.
Inter-agency coordination: There are a large number of institutions at national and subnational levels who can play a role in climate change mitigation and overall climate change related work. However, there’s not an institutional coordination mechanism to liaise with subnational levels.
Lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities: The institutional mapping shows that climate change mitigation responsibilities are being spread over many institutions.
Lack of monitoring and reporting processes: There is not yet a reporting mechanism against the NDCs or other climate change-related targets.
Policy enforcement: Lack of subnational level plans under national policies act as a hindrance to implementation
Investment constraints: There is an investment gap in financing climate action at the subnational level.
To find out more about the workshop and read the full policy recommendations, please read the full workshop report.
To learn more about the Mapping of Institutional Arrangements in Sri Lanka for Climate Change Mitigation, download the report. This report is authored by Ranga Pallawala. The CEO of Janathakshan GTE Limited and a member of National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation (NECCCA) of Sri Lanka
Click here to see more photos from the workshop.