ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION ENFORCEMENT CAPACITY OF GOVERNMENT
THROUGH DIVISIONAL SECRETARY: SOME EMERGING ISSUES.
Central Environmental Authority.
The Divisional secretary (DS) is the chief administrative officer at divisional
level for both the central government and the provincial councils. This
paper attempts to examine the level of authority held by the DS in relation
to environmental management related legislation enforcement. Data was
collected through individual discussions with relevant officers of different
institutes, people concerned, and through participatory observations of
in Mihintale area and by participating District Environmental Law Enforcement
Committee (DELEC) meetings.
According to the Environmental Act No. 58 of 1988 (Revised), DS has the
authority of public lands (less than 200 hectare) and is responsible for
issuing permits for any small scale industry while Pradeshiyasaba is responsible
for monitoring. In addition, DS is responsible for public land resources
management. Other officers such as the Rural Development Officer, the
Community Development Officer, Samurdhi Managers, Samurdhi Development
Officers etc., directed to DS office are responsible for duties relating
to environmental protection and management. The majority of environmental
complaints which are produced through Gramaniladharis to the DS are settled
either through provisions in land legislation or by co-ordinating with
other institutes. However these administrative officers do not have formal
training on environmental management.
The paper also discusses some cases related to environmental pollution
and the co-ordination of different institutions. In addition, social and
political issues in environmental legislation enforcement are discussed.
Attitudes and constraints of DELEC on legislation enforcement are also
Consideration of various institutes related to DS office as one unit in
environmental management is very important and efficient. Though DS system
is a legally and institutionally empowered and well organized institution
for implementing environment legislation, it still runs in a traditional
frame. Recommendations are made to improve and strengthen the environmental
legislation enforcement capacity for proper management of resources.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1995-2000. All rights reserved.