The European Union is awarding 18 scholarships to senior employees working in the public and private sectors, as a part of efforts to support the development of local expertise in sustainable consumption and production.
The scholarship recipients are from institutions including the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Aitken Spence Plantation Managements, and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The scholarships are an important component of the four-year EU SWITCH-Asia project, which aims to implement and improve economic and regulatory policy instruments which promote sustainable consumption and production.
The recipients are expected to follow Masters, Postgraduate, or Group Professional Training programs in the University of Lund, Sweden, and the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. Applications for a scholarship to follow a five-month postgraduate program will also be advertised shortly.
“The implementation of sustainable consumption and production has a direct impact on the success of our fight against climate change: it helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness, and reduce poverty. The EU is pleased to be able to support the development of public and private sector expertise in this area and I hope these individuals will play a key role in promoting Sri Lanka’s plans for a green economy by reducing polluting and wasteful production and consumption patterns,” said EU Head of Cooperation Libuse Soukupova.
The SWITCH-Asia project, with a duration of 48 months, provides 1.86 million Euros (Rs. 355 million). The Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment acts as the main government counterpart, facilitating communication and coordination among the various line Ministries, the private sector and consumers.
Some of the results that the project expects are as follows: a national sustainable consumption and production (SCP) policy and organisational set-up are strengthened; a national SCP Education Plan, and a SCP resource pack for the use of lecturers in university and tertiary education systems are established;
A sustainable production framework is strengthened and its principles applied in selected sectors (tea, dairy and rice processing sectors have been selected); knowledge on SCP is enhanced and awareness is raised among public/private sectors and civil society; and the introduction of an eco-labelling platform.