SYMPOSIUM and Media Brief on The National Crisis from a Sustainable Development Assessment

A national symposium was held on “The national crisis from a Sustainable Development Assessment  based on independent monitoring, evaluation and reviews of the SDG’s with a special focus on food and nutrition crisis and SDG 2. This symposium was held on 2022.12.02 at Narayanaswami conference hall of Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI). This symposium was jointly organized by Sri Lanka Stakeholder SDG platform (SLSSDG Platform) and Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) Sri Lanka, Lanka Organic Agriculture Movement (LOAM) and Center for Environment and  Development (CED).

As Sri Lanka is currently going through multiple crises, including the worst economic crisis, that has taken the nation further away from sustainable development. While consecutive governments have stated their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), action and results do not provide evidence to Sri Lanka engaging in the transformation. Far before the COVID-19 pandemic and the national economic crisis, the lack of administrative commitment to an inclusive transformation had kept the parliament, cabinet and political decision makers in space of extreme low awareness, comprehension and appreciation of the SDGs. An already derailed process since 2018, the lack of a proper plan and strategy put in place by relevant authorities has kept the political hierarchy far away from adopting a transformative agenda even in the crisis. Seeking temporary solutions and building strategies contradicting sustainable development could aggravate the crisis leading further weakening of resilience and increase of vulnerability of the nation.

In the absence of a proper engagement process for an inclusive transformation and methodological approach for an honest and scientific review, the Sri Lanka Stakeholder SDG Platform (SLS-SDG Platform) has since 2018 conducted an Independent Monitoring, Evaluation & Review Mechanism for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. This has resulted in many outcomes including a Voluntary Peoples Review (VPR), Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR), Peoples Score Card (PSC) and a Domestic Resource Mobilisation Framework (DRMF).   The contributions have come from a larger number of representatives representing Government Institutions, Provincial Councils, Local Authorities, CSO, Business, Academic, Local Government, Associations, Unions and all other stakeholders. Experts, Activists, Entrepreneurs, Academics, Scientists, Professionals, Children, Youth, Women, Elders and all other Major Group representatives. These review findings were shared during this symposium.

With regard to the current crisis faced by the country, an expert panel discussion was held with the representation of experts from key sectors involving SDG with special reference to food and nutrition.

  • Uchita de Zoysa – On Findings of SDG volunteer assessment
  • Siri Hettige – Current situation on poverty and Social aspects of SDG
  • Sarath Kotagama – Current situation on environmental aspects of SGD
  • Prasanthi, Gunawardane – Current situation on sustainable development and economic aspects of SDG
  • Asoka Gunawardane – Government aspect of commitment to SDG
  • Fazly Mohamad – Current situation on agriculture and food
  • Thilak Kariyawasam – Government and non-governmental agencies response to food crisis
  • Vishaka Thilakaratne – Current situation on nutrition and food crisis

49 Participants representing relevant government and non-governmental agencies have participated for the event. At the end of the event, a media briefing was held to disseminate the information to the general public. This media briefing was attended by print, and electronic media as well as some social media activists. Some notable officers participated representing the following agencies.

  1. Nutritional association of Sri Lanka
  2. National audit office
  3. National budget department
  4. National physical planning department
  5. University of Sri Jayawardhanapura
  6. Department of census and statistics
  7. Sri lanka banking institute
  8. National budget department
  9. WFP
  10. University of Colombo
  11. Sri Lanka institute of Development Administration
  12. Center for child rights
  13. National innovation agency
  14. Center for poverty analysis
  15. National aquatic research agency
  16. National cleaner production committee
  17. Marine environmental protection agency
  18. World vision Lanka
  19. GIZ
  20. Transparency international
  21. Green movement of Sri Lanka
02nd of December 2022
hector kobbekaduwa agrarian research and training institute