26 May, 2022


Sri Lanka Advocates Climate Change Mitigation Through Humane Lifestyle

By Avanthi Jayasuriya

Avanthi Jayasuriya

Avanthi Jayasuriya

At present, climate change has become one of the major challenges faced by mankind. In view of the adverse impacts of climate change, cuts in global emission levels are considered to be an imperative and immediate need. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has noted that livestock supply chains, the meat production industry in particular, are among the most significant contributors to climate change with emissions estimated at 7.1 gigatonnes CO2-eq per annum, representing 14.5 percent of human-induced GHG emissions. In addition, animal agriculture also results in more dire consequences as seen in the deforestation for grazing purposes, the loss of biodiversity, and pollution of water sources due to animal waste disposal.

Mitigation efforts should therefore take into account the greenhouse gas emissions of the livestock industry. As such, the campaign for meatless food consumption has significant implications as an ecologically conscious, alternative lifestyle pattern. It is clear from the facts that a sizeable reduction in terms of daily meat consumption would contribute immensely towards reductions in emission and in country’s reaching their emission targets as promised in the Paris Agreement. This would not only ensure healthy living but also would help fulfil the individual and collective responsibility in contributing to the reduction of the carbon footprint. Further, the rescaling of meat industry would lead to more sustainable patterns of livestock production which incorporates humane farming practices that would ensure the welfare of animals.

The recently ratified Nationally Determined Contributions of Sri Lanka (NDCs) include climate actions that focus on the sectors pertaining to livestock sector. This would also have impacts of co-benefit based actions as livestock industry would feature under adaptation as a sector mentioned within the NDCs, though it will also contribute to the reduction of emissions if focusing on reducing the scale of animal agriculture, and reduce the meat production. It is important that in the implementation of these NDCs, that the country adopts a humane approach, as all beings are impacted by climate change, not only humans.

Speaking at the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change, Bhagya Wickramasinghe, who works with SLYCAN Trust with animal welfare related issues, commented on SLYCAN Trusts’s new initiative- Meatless Monday- which advocates change of lifestyle towards the meatless/vegan option by recognizing the impact of meat on the health and environment through conscious eating habits. She mentioned that mindful eating, and meatless food consumption are important in fulfilling our individual contribution to mitigating climate change impacts.

As part of the Sri Lankan government’s agenda in addressing the issue of climate change, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment of Sri Lanka recently organised the ‘Sri Lanka Next – A Blue Green Era’ Conference and Exhibition, and the 5th Asia- Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, which took place from 17th – 19th October at Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Hall. The forum focused on the theme of “adapting and living below 2*c: bridging gaps in policy and practice”. As a token of the significance of vegetarianism in mitigating climate change issues, the inauguration reception for Sri Lanka NEXT conference was held as a meatless dinner. The reception which was held on the eve of the 17th of October was attended by over 1000 international and local delegates participating in the APAN forum. The array of food which included many different types of cuisines, served as a tangible reminder of the alternative lifestyle options that are more environmentally friendly and sensitive to animal welfare. On the whole, the reception which marked the commencement of the Government’s official campaign in addressing climate change, reiterated an important message in highlighting the significance of meatless food consumption in fulfilling our individual and social responsibility towards creating a better environment.

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Sri Lanka should practice what it preaches and stop letting the military and corrupt local authorities log forests and trees in parks and on roads in cities.

    Sri lanka should stop destroying the high tree canopy which also attracts rain and clouds.

    Sri Lanka should stop destroying ocean resources and fishing community livelihoods of poor people by building a port city for Chinese capitalists! Illegal sand mining has increased massively since the Chinese port city started.
    The port / financial city will sink in any case because of sea level rise.

    • 0

      Quite right Dude Dinuk. Sri Lanka is good at putting on shows and conferences for foreign audiences. This is what all the hoop la about blue-green economy is, empty talk because corrupt politicians like Mega city Pathala Champika has pipe dreams that have no reflection on the reality in Sri Lanka! The idea of effective policy making that builds from the bottom and scales up, rather than grandiose hot air projects does not exist.

      The reality is that forests are cut down, treas disappear overnight and massive sand mining to the environmental disaster port city is on going!

  • 1

    Sri lankan politicians are a dishonest bunch, far pathetic than the criminals.

    Why they did not control the plastic use, Fossil fuel consumption, deforestation and clearing jungles in upland ?

    But, they talk a lot.

  • 0

    “meatless food consumption”..
    How about milk consumption? I heard chewing food by cows releases considerable amount of Methane. Haven’t you thought about this..

    • 2


      In addition to the methane released by the cows, the it takes 80 times the energy to produce 1 pound of meat, and it is not healthy for people to eat meat.

      Same for Pigs.

      They are the biggest polluters of the water, the meat industry. They make people sick.

  • 3

    Avanthi Jayasuriya

    RE: Sri Lanka Advocates Climate Change Mitigation Through Humane Lifestyle

    “At present, climate change has become one of the major challenges faced by mankind. In view of the adverse impacts of climate change, cuts in global emission levels are considered to be an imperative and immediate need. “

    Yes, the climate change is real.The data supports that it is man made by spewing out more methane and CO2. In additii n thre ae natural phenomena taking place as well.

    The Indus Valley Harappan civilization Vanished 4,000 to 5,000 years ago due to climate change and lack of water. It is estimated that if ALL the ice melts in the polar caps, then the sea levels will rise by 211 feet, 64 meters.

    Certainly the earth will be warmer, more acidic, with more CO2 in the air and in the oceans, with more violent storms, and more floods.

    Goodbye MaRa Ego Projects, Colombo Port City, Colombo Port City, Hambantota Harbor and even the City of Colombo and many other places.It is a “problem: for the generations to come, but the graves some of those who were responsible will be under water.

    Go Solar and Wind Power, use Electric Engines, and Eat Vegetables, Fruits and Legumes, grow trees, and do not eat meat and balance the CO2 cycle. Have a solar panel on every roof, live off sun’s energy. It will certainly have an impact.

  • 1

    There appears to be increasing evidence that settled agriculture with its dependence on grains and vegetables to support a growing population led to a decline in nutrition and health and to a growing dependence on a few plant species for survival.

    It is also possible that it was a diet in which meat played a leading role that led to the rapid increase in human awareness and intelligence.

    The wealthy people in developed areas of the world will continue eating meat and increase in health and well being. The poor will be forced to survive on carbohydrates and its attendant obesity.

    Sri Lanka with its national average IQ of just 79 had better think deeply before deciding.

  • 1

    Humane Sinhalaya approach to climate change is kill as many Tamils as possible. The problem will be solved.

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