Development, environmental protection go hand in hand – President | Daily News


 

Development, environmental protection go hand in hand – President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the development process and environmental protection should go hand in hand for the betterment of the country and the future generations.

“Everyone should pay attention to conserve biodiversity in the process of development. Inappropriate development activities have led to environmental degradation and wetlands destruction. We are losing out on many benefits received from animals and plants. Culture is also destroyed in parallel to the destruction of nature. Enforcement of rules and regulations alone cannot change this situation. Public cooperation as well as understanding regarding the environment is of utmost important,” the President pointed out.

The President was addressing the national ceremony to mark World Wetlands Day held at the premises of “Ape Gama” (Our Village) in Battaramulla, yesterday.

The World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on February 2, and this year’s theme is “Wetlands and Biodiversity”. The programme was jointly organized by the Environment Authority and the Department of Wildlife.

“Environmental degradation must be stopped to ensure people’s right to life. Nevertheless, the development process should not be discouraged and investments should be made in compliance with environmental rules. Environmental laws should not be an unnecessary impediment to traditional industries,” President Rajapaksa said.

He also highlighted the responsibility of relevant officials to act in a scientific manner with the aim of safeguarding both the environment and local industries without making rash decisions.

“The beauty and cultural values of a village must be preserved for the benefit of future generations. Everyone should be committed to overcome both environmental conservation and development challenges while protecting the native flora and fauna,” the President added.

President Rajapaksa presented gifts and certificates to the winners of the All Island Art Competition organized to promote the attitudes of school children and the community on the value of wetlands.

Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena, Minister S.M. Chandrasena, State Minister Jayantha Samaraweera, Central Environment Authority Chairman S. Amarasinghe, Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe and several others were present on this occasion.

 


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