July 16, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been awarded the “Zero Carbon Certificate” presented for first ever “Zero Carbon Presidential Election Campaign” in the world conducted with community participation.
Members of the Committee for Environment Policy Formulation of “Saubhagyaye Dekma” (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor) policy statement presented the certificate to the President at the Presidential Secretariat today (16).
The Sustainable Future Group accredited to issue certificates on greenhouse gas management has confirmed that the Presidential Campaign of President Rajapaksa maintained environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emission at zero level. This Group is recognized by the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board which has gained the international recognition in the field of greenhouse gas assessment.
President’s vision and determination was to conduct his campaign deviating from the conventional election campaign practice and to cause no harm to the environment. As the Presidential candidate he decided to hold more than 150 public rallies without using polythene, posters, banner or cutouts, President’s Media Division said.
The amount of carbon emitted into the environment by vehicles and people attending to public meetings is calculated according to an international methodology. It was decided that 21,000 plants need to be planted to absorb the amount of carbon dioxide released. Accordingly, the ‘Rate Pelawana Nidahase Husma’ tree planting program was launched covering all public rallies.
The National Cleaner Production Centre revealed that 26,000 plants have been planted under the project, and it has thus far absorbed carbon and nullified the damage. The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board also stated that based on the environmental damage and carbon absorption during the relevant period, it has been fully established that the environmental damage is zero.
The President’s policy statement of ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’ says that ‘’ a sustainable environmental policy is not only about environmental conservation but also about the implementation of balanced social and economic practices’.
Prof. Sarath Kotagama, Dr. Sampath Wahala, Dharshani Lahandapura, Roshini Rajapaksa, Chaminda Mahanayake, Anushka Kumarasinghe, Samantha Gunasekara and Arjuna Perera representing the Committee on Drafting Environmental Policy of the ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor policy statement were present on the occasion.