Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prevention of Marine Pollution in Sri Lanka

Sumedha Amarasena

Inshore and coastal waters of Sri Lanka are exposed to various types of pollutants from inland, coastal and offshore sources. These sources release high amount of pollutants in to the sea daily. The pollution will be resulted environmental and socioeconomic problems. The marine pollution due to following reasons.

(1)Industrial wastes is coming from industries such as leather tanneries, paper mills, rubber processing units, coral-based lime kilns, textile factories and batik printing units, arrack distilleries and asbestos-cement plants

(2)Agriculture, Pesticides and fertilizers are used extensively in Sri Lanka. Run-off with agrochemicals drains into rivers, estuaries, lagoons and eventually into the ocean.

(3)Domestic wastes: Except for Colombo, no other city in Sri Lanka possesses treatment facilities for municipal wastes. As a result, all waste is eventually discharged into rivers and seas.

(4)Aquaculture: Most shrimp culture sites are located in the northwestern coastal belt of the island. Aquacultural activities have resulted in the increased concentration of nutrients, the production of toxic metabolites like ammonia and hydrogen sulphides.

(5)Oil pollution: As a consequence of the international shipping route to the south of Sri Lanka, the country’s coastal waters are exposed to oil pollution from the heavy maritime traffic in the area.

(4)Ballastic water is making environmental imbalance due to the pollution.

(6)Degradation of Natural Habitats


(8)Coastal Erosion,

(9)Over fishing and Destructive Fishing Practices,


There is a legal framework provide provisions to prevent the marine pollution under the several authorities. These are Marine Pollution Prevention Act, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, National Environmental Act, Coast Conservation Act,The National Aquatic Resources, Research and Development Agency Act No. 54 of Councils (PCs) and for the devolution of powers and functions to the Provinces. 1981,The Natural Resources Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka Act No. 78 of 1981, The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2 of 1996, The Urban Development Authority Law No 41 of 1978 and its Amendment in 1982, The National Environmental Act No 47 of 1980 and 56 of 1988,The Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC) Act.

But this legal framework has several short comings such as Narrow, geographic definition of the coastal zone proposed by the Act enforcement and monitoring actions and capacity of the CCD have generally been weak, CCA provides for the delegation of powers and functions to district governments, in practice, the permit system is highly centralized, Coastal management initiatives should be proactive rather than reactive, Lack of participation of local and provincial officials and coastal communities in the formulation and implementation of plans.

Therefore I have proposed some suggestions like Permit issuing process should be decentralized to the local governmental authorities to some extent.

It should be established a new interconnecting body among these institutes, Technology should be updated time to time in this sector,Laws and regulations must be activated in practice.

1 comment:

Thilak Chandrathilake said...

IF you mentioned here on International conventions signed by Sri Lanka to prevent Marine pollution, your article will more worth.