Strengthening capacity to control the introduction and spread of alien invasive species in Sri Lanka

What is the project about?

Sri Lanka’s equatorial location and its varied geography and climate have given rise to its unique biological diversity. This biodiversity is being threatened by increasing spread of invasive alien species (IAS) – both fauna and flora. It is also harmful to the economic progress and human development of the country as it can have negative impacts, especially on the agricultural sector. The lack of information about the threat these IAS can cause and weak laws and policies on managing and safeguarding the environment are all reasons that are contributing to the loss of biodiversity. As Sri Lanka becomes more integrated into international markets, the threats posed by the invasion of these species’ will worsen in the future as would their impacts on the natural environment and the overall human development process.

Of the many steps being taken through the project to combat this issue, one of the main objectives will be to develop a legal environment where there are policies that can help effectively control IAS. This will include supporting the finalization of the National IAS Policy and the National IAS Control Act. There will be support given for the prevention, detection and management of IAS, and to those working in local communities to bring awareness to the issue at hand. Information regarding IAS will also be made available widely on the internet for the public.

This project will have a positive impact both at the local and global level on biodiversity conservation and human well-being. One of the major positive impacts would be the sustenance of the livelihood of those communities that rely on healthy ecosystems. Globally too, the conservation of Sri Lanka’s unique biodiversity, will see positive results, such as reducing the risk to species and areas that are unique to the island and also are facing any threat. It is also anticipated that the project will be able to reduce the threats to biodiversity in other parts of the world by controlling the export of IAS from Sri Lanka.  

What have we accomplished so far?

  • A National IAS policy was drafted and circulated for comments along with the National IAS Strategy and Action Plan
  • A National workshop on IAS Risk Assessment was conducted
  • Discussions with the Private Sector to begin partnerships to carry out the program was initiated
  • A project steering committee was established to oversee the workings of the project
  • A Consultant group is to develop the IAS policy that will help in identification of IAS and the economic analysis behind the effects of IAS
  • Risk assessment procedures have been discussed and is being improved
  • Initial work on the National Database on IAS has started, which will also include photographs that will improve the information system
  • Preparations on the IAS communication strategy has started
  • The launch of the project and a media briefing has been planned
  • The development of a tool kit on the best practices has started
  • Consultants and specialists needed for this project have been trained and recruited

Who finances it?

Donor name Amount contributed
Government US$ 3,350,000
GEF (UNDP) US$ 1,825,000

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