President urges Nitrogen management | Sunday Observer

President urges Nitrogen management

2 May, 2021

Sustainable environmental policies require not only environmental conservation but also improving social and economic practices so that nations can sustain their people and their natural environments in the long term,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a statement to the Pre-COP26 virtual event on Nitrogen for Climate and Green Recovery which was held from April 27 - 29.

This meeting represents a positive step towards addressing the important issue of Nitrogen Management ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland later this year.

The President said, for its part, the Government has adopted balanced policies that promote the sustainability of our biodiversity, forest cover, waterways and oceanic resources alongside the socioeconomic requirements of our citizens.

Inculcating a sense of environmental sensitivity and responsibility amongst our future generations is critically important and is included in our ongoing educational reforms.

At the Biodiversity Summit of the United Nations General Assembly last year, President Rajapaksa made an appeal to world leaders for the better management of Nitrogen.

He said, in the statement read out by Foreign Minsiter Dinesh Gunawardena, ‘Climate scientists have been studying and grappling with the impact of increased Carbon Dioxide emissions in the atmosphere for decades. I believe it is important to address the issue of Nitrogen waste in a similarly urgent way, and to broaden the ongoing discourse on climate change accordingly.’

With agriculture comprising the primary means of livelihood for a significant section of the population, the issue of nitrogen management is particularly important to Sri Lanka.

It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of the Nitrogen fertiliser used domestically is wasted, and ends up in the atmosphere, land, and water. Transportation and other industries also release gaseous reactive Nitrogen, which entraps heat and contributes to faster global warming.

“I am aware that such issues are common to countries in our region, and that the adverse consequences of these issues will prove challenging to our Governments in the medium and long term.Improved Nitrogen management through comprehensive study, more awareness building and creating better solutions for the dual imperatives of sustaining economic activity and the environment is therefore of critical importance.

Such actions need to be guided by timely policy decisions not just at the national level, but also regionally and globally,” the President said. He expressed confidence that the deliberation of this forum will help bring together the Governments of the South Asian region towards a common understanding on this issue.

This will in turn have a positive impact on the decisions arrived at during the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year.