(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasized that if we are to preserve the health of our planet and ensure human health and sustainability, Governments the world over must not hesitate to adopt bold policies.
“Such policies should support ecological conservation, help combat the loss of biodiversity, and enable people to achieve their economic aspirations in more sustainable ways,” he further said.
The President made these remarks addressing the Agroecology Event at the 48th Session of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, Friday (04) via video technology.
The Committee on Food Security (CFS), while applauding the President’s decision to completely eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers, invited President Rajapaksa to its annual conference to deliver a special lecture.
“Climate change is one of the most serious issues humanity faces. Mitigating its impact requires urgent collective action from all countries,” the President further said.
President Rajapaksa also said that the Government’s decision to ban imports of artificial fertilizers and agrochemicals enabled a long-needed national transition to a healthier and more ecologically sound system of organic agriculture.
“We are aware that there will be teething problems during this transition. These include constraints in domestic production and supply of organic alternatives, as well as adverse public perceptions arising from the ban,” the President added.
“However, as leaders, it is our responsibility to take decisive action despite the challenges we will face. If we hesitate to make decisions, essential initiatives such as this will always remain confined to the realm of discussion,” the President said.
The President said the decision taken by Sri Lanka to ban imports of artificial fertilizers and agrochemicals will pave the way for a greener economy and a healthier society, whilst supporting the aspirations of the State in terms of food security in the long term.
The President expressed confidence that Sri Lanka’s this initiative will inspire other Governments to take similarly bold action for the betterment of their citizens.
On behalf of the organizers of the CSF48 Agroecology event, Chief Scientist Dr. Fergus L. Sinclair in an appreciation letter commended the statement made by the President.
“I was deeply impressed with the bold statement that you made and the clear rationale that you put forward for them. This opening address will set the tone not only for the agroecology side-event but the whole CFS48 consideration of policy convergence around agroecology report. Your statement leads the way in their implementation and sets the trend for national action.”
“I think your statement will be picked up widely beyond CFS as a world-leading initiative to take climate change seriously and transition to more sustainable food systems based on agroecological principles. These decisive and practical actions that Sri Lanka is taking will be a beacon to others,” Dr. Sinclair said in the letter.