VII. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The removal of impediments which hinder development, in order to promote investments, create employment opportunities, and alleviate poverty, has been recognized by the government as a priority objective. On the other hand, poverty is considered to be the biggest obstacle to achieving environmental quality.
In this context, environmental policy (particularly in relation to the revisions proposed in the National Environmental Protection Act) needs to be rationalized by removing those elements which focus on tightening the legislative framework within a narrow view of environmental protection. Such an approach enables due regard to be given to the developmental realities of the country.
That approach is made even the more important by the liberal economic policies of the government, which considers the private sector to be the engine of growth and promotion of foreign direct investment to be a national priority. Under such economic policies, environmental laws which emulate those of the developed countries may be viewed as a serious impediment by prospective investors.
In Sri Lanka there are many laws through which citizens, as well as private and public sector organizations, can seek relief against environmental damage. What is needed is not the enactment of further legislation, but a strengthening of the enforcement of existing legislation, particularly at the provincial and local authority levels.