Sustainable Development News & Events


 Hosting a Delegation from Small Island Development States(SIDS)


Recognizing the significant progress and experiences of Sri Lanka in implementing 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) through its project office, the United Nations Project on Governance (UNPOG) requested the support of the government of Sri Lanka to host a study visit for a group of small islands developing states (SIDS).

Under the direction of Hon. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, the Minister and the guidance of Mr. A.G.P. Kithsiri, the Secretary, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development organized in coordination with United Nations office in Sri Lanka, UNDESA and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The aim of this practitioner to practitioner forum was “Strengthening Capacities of Public Administration in Island States: Equipping Public Institutions, Strengthening Resilience and Building Effective Partnership for Implementing the 2030 Agenda from an Island States Perspective”.


This forum was held from 21-24 August 2018 at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), Colombo

Opening Remarks

Representing Hon. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe, the Monitoring MP to the Ministry participated as the Chief Guest. Opening remarks were delivered by Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe, Ms. Wasantha Pereira, Director General of SLIDA, Mr. Terence Jones, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr.Chae Gun Chung, Head of UNPOG , and Mr. Animesh Kumar, Deputy Head, Regional Office for Asia -Pasific, UNISDR. Hon. Sandith Samarasinghe pointed out that the good governance has been strengthened in Sri Lanka with the introduction of legal instruments such as the Right to Information Act.


27 foreign delegates including 2 permanent secretaries attended from 14 Island States. 22 Sri Lanka government officers at decision making level also participated in the forum representing the Ministries, Departments and District Secretariat working especially the disaster risk reduction aspects of the SDG implementation.


This forum was designed for the government officials at the decision-making level implementing SDGs in participating countries with a particular focus on resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) planning and implementation strategies.

Field Visits

As recommended by the National Cleaner Production Center of Sri Lanka, one study visit was arranged for the participants to learn through the best sustainable practices implemented by the CKT Apparel (Pvt) Ltd, at Agalawatta and another visit was arranged to the Disaster Management Center where the Secretary to the Ministry Eng. N.A. Sisira Kumara welcomed the participants.

Learning Outcomes

The programme was a built-up platform for SIDS countries to gain knowledge on preparation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) for the High-Level Political Forum through the best practices in preparation of VNR 2018 report in Sri Lanka.   The forum also provided an opportunity for the foreign participants to understand how Sri Lanka had aligned SDGs into its national development plans, policies and institutions, and mobilized its public administration to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Local participants also had an opportunity to learn about DRR strategies, technologies, and management of funds on DRR implemented by other island states to strengthen the public service delivery and aware on best practices to strengthen resilience through information and communication technology (ICT) innovations.

Sri Lanka Knowledge Sharing

Four local resource persons delivered presentations under different topics: Dr.Sugath Yalegama , Additional Secretary (Sustainable Development), Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development delivered three presentations one on Strategic Planning for a Sustainable and Resilient Society in Sri Lanka Perspective, another on the cases of Sri Lanka- Engaging civil society leaders in SDGs , and the other on Sri Lanka Voluntary National Review 2018 to aware the participants countries on the successful stakeholder engagement mechanisms implemented when preparing VNR 2018 in Sri Lanka : Ms.Shiranthi Rathnayake , Additional Director General of Department of National Planning on Resilience in Government Budgeting Sri Lanka’s Blue -Green Budget initiative; Mr. Ranga Pallewala, CEO, Janathakshan on Building Financial Resilience for Climate-Related Disasters; and Mr.J.A.D.Siriwardena, Assistant General Manager ,National Insurance Trust Fund, Sri Lanka on Disaster Risk Financing and Resilience.


Session 1 - Strategic Planning for an Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Transformation
                   Strategic Planning for a Sustainable and Resilient Society from an Island Perspective - National Cases
                   Regional Voices in Implementing Global Frameworks
Session 2 - Addressing Institutional Gaps for SDG and the Sendai Framework Implementation
Session 3 - Planning for Inclusive Governance Mechanisms that Drive Resilience
                 3.1 Engaging Civil Society Leaders in the SDGs
                 3.2 Empowering Women for Building Resilience
Session 4 - Monitoring, Review and Follow-up in the Context of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework Targets
Session 5 - Strategizing on Means of Implementation (MoI) for Resilience in SID
Session 6.1 - Transformation towards a Sustainable and Resilient Society - ICT Innovations for Disaster Risk Management
Session 6.2 - Transformation towards a Sustainable and Resilient Society – Implementing ICT Innovations in Practice
Session 7 and 8- Site Visits
Session 9 - Financing Resilience: Building Resilience for Climate-related Disasters
Session 10 - Financing Resilience through National Budgets and Mechanisms
Session 11 - Exploring Trends and Cases of Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Resilience




National Sustainable Development Strategy


The Sustainable Development Act No 19 of 2017 provides the legal framework for preparing a National Strategy to facilitate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in achieving the SDGs in Sri Lanka. The responsibility of preparing this strategy has been vested in the Sustainable Development Council established under the Act. Due to the delay in the appointment of the Council, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife & Regional Development (MSDWRD) as the Ministry in charge of sustainable development, formed a Sustainable Development Division inside the Ministry in 2016 to undertake the activities are supposed to be executed by the Sustainable Development Council, until its establishment. Initiation to prepare the SDG National Strategy in late 2017 was one of these activities undertaken by the division.
In this regard the MSDWRD prepared a term of reference for a consultant to assist the Ministry to prepare this Strategy. The Ministry also could secure the technical and financial support from SDGAP project of USAID as well. Through this support, the Ministry could select and appoint an international as well as national consultant to undertake this task. The appointed consultants are:

Dr Anuradha Rajivan, International Consultant

Dr Anuradha is a retired officer of Indian Administrative Service. She has a PhD in Economics and has worked with the ADB. She served in the UN for ten years UNDP’s Poverty Practice Leader for Asia Pacific. Further, she has worked on World Bank and IFAD projects, revenue and development administration, later moving to policy work.

Mr T M Jayasekara, National Consultant

Mr Jayasekara holds a Bachelor’s Degree, B.Sc in Civil Engineering from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1969 and MBA from University of Colombo. During his period of work in development projects, both national and foreign funded by International Funding Institutions.

Broad Objectives of the National Strategy are:

  •  To accelerate progress towards the SDGs by 2030
  •  Deepen and spread awareness on sustainable development and the SDGs across all implementing agencies and other stakeholders
  •  Draw from global experiences and adapt locally
  •  Strengthen the evidence base, results-orientation and monitoring for better accountability
  •  Increase coordination within government and between government and non-government agencies
  •  Expand options on financing for development
  •  Institutionalize the actions for mainstreaming across stakeholders

Progress so far

  • Bilateral discussions were held with the relevant staff at the President office, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Department of National Planning, Department of Project Management & Monitoring and the Department of Census & Statistics
  •  A discussion was held with civil society representatives.
  •  Studied global experiences on models practiced by other countries
  •  Studied the national policies, laws and instructional structures
  •  A Consultation Workshop on the findings made through the above discussion and studies was held on 23rd August 2018.

The Consultation Workshop was attended by a wide group of stakeholders including officers from the Presidential Secretariat, Parliamentary Select Committee on Sustainable Development, Ministry of National Policies Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Census & Statistics, Auditor General’s Department, Department of Project Management & Monitoring, Central Bank, Institute of Policy Studies, United Nations Development Programme, Academia Experts and Civil Society Organizations.