Sri Lanka’s Environmental Issues and Problems



The Sri Lanka National Report to the WSSD (2002) identified a number of critical environmental problems and issues. The following were the chief among them;


  • Deforestation caused by shifting cultivation, timber exploitation, fuel wood collection, encroachment of agriculture on forests;
  • Costal erosion, and resulting damage to beaches, coastal conservations and communities.
  • Soil erosion and loss of agricultural productivity of the land;
  • Pollution of water bodies, coastal eco systems and beaches caused by the discharge of industrial pollutants and raw sewage;
  • (Protected) sea level rise, landslides floods and other natural disasters, the victims of which are predominantly from the poorest segments of society, who are compelled to take the risk of occupying vulnerable areas;
  • Situation of reservoirs built for irrigation and /or hydro power generation purposes;
  • Poor natural resource management and land use patterns, resulting in the marginalization of lands, loss of productivity and depletion of non –renewable resources;
  • Atmospheric pollution from vehicle emissions and industries;
  • Urban expansion without concomitant infrastructural growth, resulting in the proliferation of slums and shanties, and many other urban problems.



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