II. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO THE POLICY DECISION PROCESS
B. The evolution and existing structure of institutional arrangements for the tea sector in the various ministries and agencies
The next significant step in the evolutionary process was the creation, in 1989, of a Cabinet-rank ministry to deal specifically with environmental issues, thus underpinning government recognition of the importance of the subject. Since its establishment, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has taken over policy-making and interministerial coordinating functions from CEA. The latter function is now undertaken through interministerial coordinating committees set up for various purposes. The committees are chaired by the Secretary to the Ministry. CEA, on the other hand, acts as the implementing agency for the policies of the Ministry.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is also the national focal point for matters concerning the various international Conventions related to environment and to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. The Ministry has set up a Montreal Protocol Unit within its structure to coordinate all matters related to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. A Sri Lankan scientist, who is the technical adviser to the Ministry, heads the Unit.
With regard to the other international Convention which is relevant to the tea plantation sector, i.e., the Framework Convention on Climatic Change (see chapter V), the institutional arrangement within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry takes the form of a steering committee that is responsible for the preparation of the National Action Plan on Climatic Change (NAPCC). The steering committee is chaired by the Secretary to the Ministry and comprises senior representatives of all the ministries and agencies concerned as well as technical experts who deal with the specialized aspects. This subject is dealt in greater depth in chapter VI.