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Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity , 30 September 2020

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Statement by H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

at the Plenary of the Summit on Biodiversity

30 September 2020


Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,


Distinguished Delegates,




I am deeply honoured to represent the people of Sri Lanka at this High-Level Summit on Biodiversity.

The concept of biodiversity must be at the very core of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Despite the rapid decline seen in biodiversity globally, over the recent decades, Sri Lanka is deeply committed to uphold the overarching spirit of the Convention on Biodiversity.

There is a critical need for a transformational change in the relationship between nature and people and contemporary global environmental governance.


Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,


As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Sri Lanka endorsed the Commonwealth Blue Charter in 2018 and as such we will champion the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods.

Further, the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management was adopted last year.  We as world leaders, must better manage nitrogen, ensuring the sustenance of humankind.


Sri Lanka is home to two UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites: the Central Highlands, and the Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. We are also proud of our six sites recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Sri Lanka firmly stands committed to protect and sustainably manage this natural asset that contributes to our unique and rich biodiversity.


We have been mindful of conserving ecosystems to the highest extent possible, even during the redesigning of cities and urban areas. The wetland parks that we have created in cities, especially in and around our Capital Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte, are home to an array of plant and animal species, offering a ‘mini-rainforest experience’ within crowded cities.


The ancient governance of Sri Lanka was built on the concept that the ruler is never the owner of the land; he is merely its caretaker on behalf of his countrymen and all living beings. This is the very principle that my Government has adopted in our development agenda.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

As mere trustees of this planet and its resources, we must resolve to protect what is in our trust and pass it to future generations as best as we could.   


Thank you.