2005 – 2014

Summary of SACEP Programme Activities

During the 10-year period SACEP implemented the programme / project activities in collaboration with BoBLME, CBD, FAO, IMO, IWMI, NORAD, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), UNEP, UNESCAP, UNESCO, UNU, TRAFFIC International and various other partners, The activities carried out covered specific areas such as Bio-diversity, Climate Change, Data Information Management and Clearing House Mechanism, Environmental Education, Capacity Building & Training, MEAs, National and Regional Environment Assessments, Protection of Natural Resources, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Waste Management etc and activities under the South Asian Seas Programme (SASP).


Strategic Planning and Developing Market Based Instruments for the Medium to Long Term Strategic Planning of the Implementation of the Sri Lanka National Programme of Action (MBI/NPA)

Dec 2004 – 2010 UNEP Activity was carried out based on MoUs signed in December 2004 and revised in 2007 to accommodate the issues arising after the December 2004 tsunami. All activities pertaining to the project came into a conclusion in early 2010. The aim of the project was to assist government of Sri Lanka to further develop their National Plan of Action in order to facilitate fully resourced, transparent and politically endorsed national programmes that incorporate appropriate public spending programmes, pollution command and control regimes, market and/or fiscal incentives for pollution prevention and capacity building initiatives. The main focus was on land based sources of pollution, but all environmentally related issues were taken into consideration – with the potential in general to strengthen the GPA programme area through a holistic approach to environment.

Three reports were prepared under this project:

  1. Report on the Development of Market Based Instruments for Environmental Management in Sri Lanka was formally launched in 3rd quarter of 2008
  2. The Study of Economic Significance of Coastal Region of Sri Lanka in the Context of Environmental Changes of Pre and Post Tsunami
  3. Report of the Study of Socio-Economic Aspects of Coastal Regions and Squatters with Special Reference to the Western Province
Rapid Assessment of the Environmental Damage due to the Tsunami Disaster in Sri Lanka
2005 UNEP A MoU was signed between SACEP and UNEP for ‘Rapid Assessment of the Environmental Damage due to the Tsunami Disaster in Sri Lanka’. Under this activity the Tsunami Task Force was established in Sri Lanka which submitted its report to the Government on both the Brown and Green Assessment of the damage.
South Asia Workshop for Multilateral Environment Agreement (MEA) Negotiators
2005 UNEP-DEPI Developed and convened a regional workshop for MEA negotiators in South Asia and in particular, the project stressed on better preparation for those who are new to international negotiating processes in understanding and participating effectively in these negotiations.
  1. Built capacity of novice MEA negotiators in South Asia;
  2. Built capacity of potential trainers in South Asia to deliver such a course at the national level; and
  3. Developed and refined training materials for MEA negotiators
Adaptation to Climate Change
9GC-SACEP held in August 2005 identified adaptation to climate change as one of the key areas concerned in the South Asian Region.
Oct 2006 - 2007 Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India Scoping Exercise on Adaptation to Climate Change
A MoU with CEE-India (Ahmedabad) was signed in October 2006. Under this CEE-SACEP initiative ‘A Scoping Exercise on Adaptation to Climate Change’ was conducted on 10 January 2007 in which government representatives and experts participated to consider a regional status of the priorities on adaptation to Climate Change under a consultative process.
The report was finalized and submitted to the 10GC-SACEP.
2007 Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka South Asia Youth Network School Environment Awareness Programme
SACEP conducted a School Environment Awareness Programme in collaboration with CEE, India, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Sri Lanka and the South Asia Youth Network. A series of School Competitions (Essay, Drawing and Painting, Posters and Photography) from January to July 2007 for different age categories were held. The main theme of these competitions was Adaptation to Climate Change and Waste Management.
Award ceremony was held on 16 July, 2007 and a Panel discussion on ‘Adaptation Strategies to Sea Level Rise in South Asia’ and a Video presentation on Sea Level Rise was screened to show the global picture followed by the awards ceremony.
2008 National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, India Climate Change and it’s Impact on the Flora of the South Asia
SACEP entered into a collaboration with NBRI, a Centre of Excellence for the South Asian region to develop a programme on Adaptation issues related to Climate change and a regional workshop on ‘Climate change and its impact on flora of the South Asia region’ was conducted from 9 to 12 March 2008. The workshop was funded by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Science and Technolgy, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and SACEP. There were 53 participants. A proposal on adaptation to climate change developed by SACEP and NBRI was discussed and finalized during the workshop.
11GC-SACEP held in May 2010 approved the Project Proposal in principle subject to specific commitment from respective countries.
2014 International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Global Water Partnership-South Asia (GWP-SAS) Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change
South Asia Regional Workshop on Lessons Learnt in Strategy Implementation on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in Water Sector was organized from 9 to 10 September 2014 in Sri Lanka in collaboration with Global Water Partnership-South Asia.
The workshop gathered policy makers, researchers and practitioners of seven countries of the South Asian region together and provided a platform to share and to learn from each other on Strategy Implementation on Climate Change Adaptation in Water Sector. Approximately 30 participants representing Ministries of Environment, Water Resources and Climate Change of SACEP member countries and GWPO, GWP SAS, CEA, UNDP, IWMI and Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP) attended the workshop.
Malé Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its likely and Transboundary Effects for South Asia
2005 - 2014 UNEP & RRC.AP-AIT Phase III – V ongoing
Waste Management
2006 Ministry of Environment-Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Olympic Committee, Private Sector and Media South Asian Games Waste Management Programme
SACEP organised a ‘South Asian Games Waste Management Programme’ during the South Asian Games held in Colombo during 18 - 28 August, 2006. This was organized as Waste Management was one of the Priority Issues of SACEP as decided at its 9GC. This helped SACEP not only to raise awareness in the participating athletes and audience but also the message was carried through media and the sportspersons from the eight countries of South Asia to the masses in these countries. It also ensured cleanliness in the Games as the concept of 3R was adopted for waste segregation and disposal.
A seven-minute film was made by ART TV and broadcast on its channel during the games.
2007 Development Alternatives (DA), India A Scoping Exercise on E-waste Management in South Asia
MoU between Society for Development Alternatives, India and SACEP was signed for the period 26 February 2007 to 31 July 2007 to facilitate the development of need based responses in the region on e-Waste Management. ‘A Scoping Exercise on E-waste Management in South Asia was conducted in New Delhi in September, 2007. DA and SACEP worked together to implement the above stated scoping exercise in countries associated with SACEP. A report on the Scoping exercise was publication.
2007 Government of Bangladesh, UNCRD, UNESCAP, Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Ministry of Environment Japan National 3R (Waste Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) Workshop in Bangladesh, 27-28 February 2007

The primary objectives of this Workshop was to

  • increase awareness and foster knowledge of 3R related principles, policies, tools and technologies among key government agencies and other stakeholders in Bangladesh;
  • facilitate discussion on the possible formulation of a National 3R Strategy for Bangladesh through a participatory process involving all stakeholders concerned; and
  • introduce and disseminate outputs/outcomes of the Senior Officials’ Meeting on 3R held during 6-8 March, 2006 in Tokyo, Japan.
2011 UNCRD IPLA Sub Regional Secretariat for South Asia
SACEP became the Sub Regional Secretariat for South Asia to the International Partnership for Expanding Waste Management Services of Local Authorities (IPLA) of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) in May 2011.
2012 UNEP-GPWM SACEP becomes partner to GPWM
SACEP became an institution participating in the Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM) in September 2012. The GPWM was launched in November 2010 to enhance international cooperation among stakeholders, identify and fill information gaps, share information and strengthen awareness, political will, and capacity to promote resource conservation and resource efficiency.
The GPWM aims in establishing a coordinating a forum for international organizations, governments, private sector, and other non-governmental entities, to build synergies and thus to avoid duplication of efforts.
2013 Geo Cycle International Conference on Waste Management organized by Geo Cycle, (Holcim) Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22nd March 2013.
SACEP was a partner for the International Conference on Waste Management: Towards Waste Free Sri Lanka. Conference was organized by Geocycles and many eminent resource persons delivered their thoughts on the subject.
Geo-cycle is a business unit of Holcim (Lanka) Limited, a company incorporated in Sri Lanka which provides Sustainable Waste Management Solutions for industrial wastes..
Establishment of Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia
2005 - 2013 Basel Convention In response to the mandate of the 9GC-SACEP on Waste Management, with the support of the member countries, SACEP was able to get the decision at the CoP8 of the Basel Convention to establish a Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia at SACEP Secretariat and 10GC-SACEP held in January 2007 endorsed same.
As directed by the CoP IX of the Basel Convention held in June 2008 SACEP submitted an updated proposal and was taken into discussion at the Seventh Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting held from 10 – 14 May 2010.
During the period on negotiations the overlap with the Iranian Centre was raised and as the matter could not be resolved, as proposed by SACEP 13GC agreed for removal of the Agenda Item on Establishment of Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia from Work Programme of SACEP.
Marine Litter Programme
Dec 2005 – 2014 UNEP Based on a MoU signed in December 2005 the Marine Litter activity was implemented by SACEP.
A Regional Workshop on Development of a Regional UNEP and SACEP/SAS Activity on Marine Litter for the South Asian Seas was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 20 – 21 August, 2007.
As an outcome two documents titled ‘Review of Marine Litter in the SAS’ and ‘Framework on Marine Litter Management in SAS Region’ was finalized. The document was formatted according to the guidelines of UNEP and this publication is one of a series of 11 Regional Assessments and draft Regional Action Plans on Marine Litter in the Regional Seas Programme.
As a way forward since 2006 many activities are organized to commemorate the Coastal Cleanup Day under the Marine Litter Programme by SACEP in collaboration with the member states. In the International Environment Calendar the third week of September each year marks the International Coastal Cleanup Day.
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the International Coastal Clean-up day, SACEP in collaboration with US Embassy in Colombo and Ministry of Environment, Government of Sri Lanka organized a beach cleanup programme and an awareness programme for the participating school children in September 2010.
Blue Flag Beach Certification Programme for South Asia
Dec 2009 - 2010 Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) Denmark, and UNEP To activity took the message of ‘A Clean beach – A Tourist Haven’ for promoting sustainable tourism in the SAS region.
The Blue Flag is a voluntary exercise and certification is awarded by FEE. This exclusive eco-label is presently awarded to more than 3200 beaches and marinas in 38 countries worldwide..
SACEP organized National Workshops in Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka in February – in March 2010 in collaboration with the National Focal Points to have discussions with stakeholder in member countries to propagate the idea of beach certification. These workshops provided a platform to further development of national programmes.
Individual countries have agreed to pursue a follow up on the Beach Certification Programme.
Partnership for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV)
2008 - 2010 UNEP-DTIE (Division of Technology, Industry and Economics) The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles was launched at the WSSD in Johannesburg in 2002 by the UNEP with the aims to encourage countries to adopt overall clean fuel and vehicles strategies, including vehicle and fuel standards, inspection and maintenance, development of public transport systems – including both motorised and non-motorised options – and transportation demand management.
SACEP became a partner of the PCFV in 2008 with the view of assisting the member countries to build their capacity in the area concerned.
SACEP in collaboration with UNEP organized a Capacity Building Regional Workshop for Senior Officials of South Asia and was held on 22 – 23 March 2010. This was an ideal opportunity to discuss and develop a future activity plan with regard to PCFV in the region. These recommendations were considered and incorporated to the work programme 2011 - 2012
The Declaration on Cleaner Fuel and Vehicles was adopted at the 12GC-SACEP held on 3 November 2010.
Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST)
Mar 2008 - 2014 UNCRD Activity was initiated as a result of a MoU signed between SACEP and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) to promote EST in South Asia in March 2008.
As an outcome of the MoU, at the Fourth Regional EST Forum from held from 24-26 February 2009 adopted the Seoul Statement on EST, ‘Towards the Promotion of Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) for a Low-Carbon Society and Green Growth in Asia’.
As a way forward, SACEP in collaboration with UNCRD, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), and Ministry of Environment of the Government of Japan (MOE-Japan) organized a Sub-Regional EST Training Workshop-cum-Policy Dialogue in South Asia, from 26 - 28 August 2011 in Ahmedabad, India. This workshop was attended by participants from the Ministry of Environment of SACEP member countries along with officials from the Ministry of Transport/Urban Development, resource persons, representatives from various international organizations, and local observers from Ahmadabad, India
The Eighth Meeting of the Regional EST Forum was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2014 in together with the Better Air Quality Conference 2014.
SACEP was a co-partner in organizing the event.
South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)
July 2007 - 2013 TRAFFIC International A Regional Workshop on Wildlife Trade in South Asia was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in January 2008 in collaboration with TRAFFIC International under a MoU signed in July 2007.
Through the ‘JAIPUR DECLARATION’ adopted 11GC-SACEP on 22 May 2008, it was agreed to the establishment of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and the South Asia Regional Strategic Plan on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade (2008 –2013).
SAWEN was launched in 2012, comprising of the eight member countries of SACEP and an Independent SAWEN Secretariat was established in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The First Regional Meeting of SAWEN took place in Negombo, Sri Lanka from 3 - 6 June 2012. Government of Sri Lanka hosted this meeting in collaboration with TRAFFIC International and SACEP to devise operational plans to combat illegal trade affecting some of the region’s most threatened wildlife species and also worked on an updated work programme and discussed issues such as intelligence gathering, information sharing, capacity building and law enforcement cooperation. Further the Meeting recommended that until necessary arrangements are made the funds from the possible World Bank Project to SAWEN to be channeled through SACEP.
13GC-SACEP held in December 2013 recommended the removal of the Agenda Item from the Work Programme of SACEP related to SAWEN.
SACEP Environment and Natural Resources Information Centre (SENRIC)
2005 – Feb 2007 UNEP-ROAP Project concluded in February 2007
Environmental Data and Information Management System for South Asia
Sep 2011 UNEP-DEWA Division of Early Warning and Assessment 9GC-SACEP held in August 2005 identified Data and Information Management as one of the key areas concerned in the region. SACEP prepared a detailed project proposal to establish an Environmental Data and Information System for South Asia and was approved by the 11GC-SACEP held in May 2008.
As an initial step, SACEP in collaboration with UNEP organized a twoday Inception and Training Workshop on Establishment of Environmental Data and Information Management System for South Asia from 9 – 10 February 2012 in Colombo Sri Lanka. Secondly, a Need Assessment Study was concluded.
SACEP is in continuous dialog for possible funding support for establishment of the Data Information System for South Asia.
Bio-diversity Conservation and Bio-diversity Clearing House Mechanism
2007 - 2014 UNEP, CBD, FAO, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, BoBLME, An ongoing activity

Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)
Sep 2012 onwards UNEP SWITCH-Asia is a project funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) across the Asian region. Through an MoU signed between SACEP and UNEP a three days Training Programme was organized as a collaborative venture between SACEP and UNEP which brought together 25 policy makers from 7 countries. It was held from 30 October – 1 November 2012, in Sri Lanka.
The objective of the training was to build the capacity of policy makers across the South Asian region, in designing and implementing policies that support SCP and a Green Economy. The training covered the fundamentals of SCP policy, identifying key sectors for policy reform, while highlighting case studies and best practices across the Asia-Pacific region. The programme introduced the SCP Policy cycle and focused on thematic SCP policy options and opportunities.
The training was delivered as a Training of Trainers. Participants were provided with all the material, along with a guide for trainer’s booklet, to enable them to facilitate further training within their own countries. The training was a result of an extensive capacity building needs assessment conducted in 2011-12, under the SWITCH-Asia PSC.
SACEP signed another MoU with UNEP to organize a Preparatory Meeting for the Establishment of the South Asia Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in October 2014.
On-board Training Workshop on Marine Resources Sampling, Data Collection and Interpretation for the South Asian Seas
2009 Government of India, UNEP, UNDOALOS and UNEP GRID Arendal SACEP/SASP organized a Regional Training Workshop on ‘Marine Resources Sampling and Data Collection and Interpretation for South Asian Seas’ targeting mid-level managers to help them in effectively perform their duties in conservation and management of marine resources from 18 -22 September 2009 in India. This 5day regional training workshop conducted on board research vessel Sagar Kanya enabled the participants to understand the importance of Ocean Data Collection and Interpretation which benefited them to define policies and programmes.
The Training Manual provides detailed information with research articles presented in Five Thematic Areas.
30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation
2010 International Sea Turtle Society & Indian institute of Science in Bangalore 30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation was convened by the International Sea Turtle Society from 27 – 29 April 2010 in Goa, India. SACEP was a co-partner in organizing the Symposium. This important gathering bought together around 700 participants from 70 countries around the world for promoting the exchange of information.
A South Asia Mini Symposium, was held on 26 April 2010, where representatives of member states, NGO and Academia sectors came together to discuss the situation and a mechanism for a united regional response to sea turtle conservation in the sub region. In this regard the role that can played by SACEP/SASP as an intergovernmental partner was also discussed.
An important event that took place at this mini symposium was the signing of the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (IOSEA) Marine Turtle MoU by the Government of Maldives, which made all five member states of the South Asian Seas Programme (SASP) in this multilateral agreement established under the auspicious of Bonn Convention on Migratory Species.
Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan in south Asian Region
2005 - 2014 IMO, UNEP, Five Marine Member States Ongoing activity
Ballast Water Management South Asia
2012 - 2014 IMO, UNEP, Five Marine Member States Ongoing activity
Coral Reef Management
2006 - 2008 UNEP-GPA / EU / ICRAN Activity concluded. South Asia Coral Reef Task Force established.
Training and Capacity Building workshop in Coral Reef Monitoring Identifying Indication for Regional Adaptation and Resilience
2012 SAARC-CZMC, UNEP, BoBLME & CCD Sri Lanka The workshop was organized by the SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre in collaboration with SACEP, UNEP, Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Programme (BoBLME) and the Coast Conservation Department (CCD) of Sri Lanka from 21-24 May 2012 in order to develop and improve the monitoring capacity in the South Asian region for sustainable management and protection coral reef and other important coastal ecosystems.
The workshop also facilitated impart training to the participants, sharing of experience & knowledge and developed an understanding of the coral reef ecosystem as an important monitoring indicator of the coastal environment for climate change and helped to improve the capacity of coral reef monitoring in the region.
The workshop developed an understanding about the significance of coral reefs as an important ecosystem in the SAARC region and necessity of their conservation and management.
Scoping Study of Nutrient Pollution on the Coastal and Marine Systems of South Asia
2013 - 2014 FAO, BoBLME A MoU was signed between SACEP and FAO to implement the activity in collaboration with Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project.
For detailed information :
Development of a Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Strategy for the South Asian Seas Region
2012 - 2014 UNEP-ROAP A MoU was signed between SACEP and UNEP-ROAP to carry out the activity.
For detailed information : 
SACEP Exhibition Stall at the venue of COP-MOP-6 and COP-11 of the CBD and the Side Event on ‘Challenges to Biodiversity of South Asia and Aichi Targets’
2012 CBD SACEP organized an Exhibition Stall at the venue of COP-MOP-6 and COP-11 of the CBD from 1 to 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India. During the period, a vast number of Delegates and others visited the SACEP stall which included government officials, representatives of various organizations and students from schools, universities and other education institutes.
SACEP publications and Information DVDs were distributed to the visitors.
SACEP also organized a side event on ‘Challenges to Biodiversity of South Asia and Aichi Targets’, on 18 October 2012. Hon’ Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment, Government of Sri Lanka and the Chairman of the Governing Council of SACEP was the Chief Guest and Hon’ Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and Energy, Republic of Maldives participated as Guest of Honour. Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka made country presentations at the side event. On behalf of SACEP the Director General made a presentation which was followed by a questions and answers session.
South Asia Environment Outlook
2006 & 2014 SAARC and UNEP In 1998 SACEP in collaboration with UNEP assisted its member countries to prepare and publish their respective State of Environment (SoE) Reports. Meantime SACEP published South Asia Regional SOE Report and the Youth Version of it during the period.
Since then SACEP has been a part of the consultation process for preparation of the South Asia Environmental Outlook (SAEO).
SAEO 2014 aimed to review and analyze the current environmental state and trends, identify emerging issues, and provide policy options for consideration by governments to address the priority environmental issues identified by the 8 South Asian countries. This report is an update of the First SAEO Report which was published in 2009.
Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook 2010
June 2010 UNEP - WCMC In line with the International Year of Biodiversity and CBD/COP10 of the UNEP decided to prepare a Marine Biodiversity Outlook Report which covers all 18 Regional Seas Areas. The objective of this project was to enhance the understanding of key regional and global issues for marine biodiversity conservation through the issuance of outlook reports on the coastal areas covered by the Regional Seas Programmes. UNEP entrusted SACEP to prepare the Outlook Report for the South Asian Seas Region.
Post 2015 South Asia Development Agenda
2013 onwards UNEP Post 2015 South Asia Development Agenda Report was prepared by SACEP in collaboration with UNEP and was launched on 26 June 2014 at the United Nations Office in Nirobi (UNON), Kenya during the First United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
The Post 2015 South Asia Development Agenda Report provides the key challenges and the critical analysis on means of implementation of the Rio+20 outcome and the policy/programme responses in South Asia in addressing environmental priorities identified in the Rio outcome document ‘The future we want’ as well as their linkages to poverty reduction and development. In addition, this report is expected to raise awareness of the key challenges related to implementing the Rio +20 environment and climate change related outcomes
International Training Course on Biodiversity in Mangrove Ecosystems
2011 UNU-INWEH, UNESCO SACEP was a partner in conducting the 11th UNU-INWEH / UNESCO International Training Course on Biodiversity in Mangrove Ecosystems held at the Centre of Advanced Studies in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, in India from 5-19 October 2011.
SACEP provided technical inputs to the development of the course material and also assisted in preparation of the course material.
Other Activities During this time frame, 5 Governing Council Meetings of SACEP and 3 Inter-governmental Meeting of Ministers of the South Asian Seas Programme were held. Activities implemented under the subject areas could be accessed in detail through related inks of SACEP website :