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Workshop report: Multilevel governance in Sri Lanka


This report presents findings from the two-day technical consultation workshop on integrated climate governance and institutional mapping in Sri Lanka.

In late 2017, the Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment of Sri Lanka expressed their interest to join the technical assistance opportunity under the LEDS GP on ‘Multilevel Governance and Climate Actions’ for ‘Accelerating Subnational Implementation and Raising National Ambitions.’

One of the first productions of this effort was an Institutional Mapping Exercise [link forthcoming] carried out with guidance from the Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (the climate change focal point of Sri Lanka), the local NGO Janathakshan GTE, and with support of the LEDS GP’s Working Group on Subnational Integration. The mapping exercise sought to identify the institutions, roles and functions — including those at subnational levels — in designing and implementing low emission development pathways to achieve Sri Lanka’s nationally determined contribution (NDC).

In Jun 2018, Janathakshan GTE organized a two-day technical consultation hosted in Colombo on ‘Multilayer Governance Institutional Mapping: NDC Implementation at Sub National Level in Sri Lanka.’  Participants included key institutions and actors at the national and subnational levels from across the country.

The technical consultation workshop aimed to achieve three specific objectives:

  • Share and discuss an institutional mapping exercise carried out for subnational implementation of Sri Lanka’s NDC;
  • Obtain stakeholder input on the potential roles and responsibilities of different institutions, especially at the subnational level in designing and implementing Sri Lanka’s NDC; and
  • Discuss potential strategies and next actions.

During the workshop, attendees strengthened the Institutional Mapping Exercise and refined the relevant organisations and institutions involved with designing and implementing Sri Lanka’s low emission development policies. As an output, this report summarizes the workshop presentations and identifies the key outcomes and challenges to subnational implementation of Sri Lanka’s NDCs, with special reference to mitigation. The challenges are:

  • Lack of awareness and capacity: The knowledge and capacities within provincial councils and local government authorities on climate change remains low. Without minimum critical awareness on climate change it is unlikely to be integrated to general development planning and implementation.
  • Inter-agency coordination: There are a large number of institutions at national and subnational levels who can play a role in climate change mitigation and overall climate change related work. However, there’s not an institutional coordination mechanism to liaise with subnational levels.
  • Lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities: The institutional mapping shows that climate change mitigation responsibilities are being spread over many institutions.
  • Lack of monitoring and reporting processes: There is not yet a reporting mechanism against the NDCs or other climate change related targets.
  • Policy enforcement: Lack of subnational level plans under national policies act as a hindrance to implemention.
  • Investment constraints: There is an investment gap in financing climate action at the subnational level.

The technical consultation workshop was run with guidance from the Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (the Climate Change focal point of Sri Lanka), the local NGO Janathakshan GTE, and with the support of LEDS GP.

To find out more about the workshop and read the full policy recommendations, please read the full workshop report.

Click here to see more photos from the workshop.

Photo: Scott Muller