III. MECHANISMS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS INTO SECTOR POLICIES AND FOR MONITORING
I. Institutional arrangements for coordination with trading partners and neighbouring countries in terms of environmental policies
Although no institutional arrangement has been specifically set up for the purpose of coordination with trading partners and neighbouring countries in terms of environmental policies, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the national focal point for all environmentally-related international Conventions and agreements to which Sri Lanka is a signatory.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acts as the coordination point in related contacts with the other member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. That responsibility includes the exchange of information related to environmental policies and issues. In addition, Sri Lankan diplomatic Missions (under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to trading partner countries and neighbouring countries also act as information and coordination points on environmentally-related matters. Some of those Missions include representatives of the Department of Commerce (under the Ministry of Internal and International Commerce and Food) who are designated as Commercial Secretaries and who assist in the coordination of environmental issues related to trade.
In the case of the private sector, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, which is the umbrella organization of a large number of sectoral Trade and Industry Chambers, interacts on trade-related issues (including environmental issues) with its counterpart organizations in other member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
Similarly, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has set up its own Environmental Unit which is responsible, for example, for building links with similar units in other countries, and for administering fellowship and exchange programmes, with the objective of sharing experiences and expertise.