SRI LANKA SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT

Arrangement of Sections

 

1. Short title.

2. Objects of this Act.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

3. Establishment of the Sustainable Development Council.

4. Constitution of the Council.

5. Quorum and meetings of the Council.

6. Acts or proceedings of the Council deemed not to be invalid by reason of any vacancy.

7. Remuneration of the members of the Council.

8. Disqualification from being a member of the Council.

9. Seal of the Council.

10. Powers, functions and duties of the Council.

PART II

NATIONAL POLICY AND STRATEGY ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

11. Approval for the National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development.

12. Sustainable Development Strategy of the ministries &c.

13. Environment and social audit.

14. Annual report of the ministry &c.

PART III

STAFF OF THE COUNCIL

15. Director-General of the Council.

16. Temporary absence of the Director-General.

17. Appointment of public officers to the staff of the Council.

18. Appointment of officers in public corporations or higher educational institutions to the staff of the Council.

PART IV

GENERAL

19. Financial year and the audit of accounts.

20. Application of Part II of the Finance Act.

21. Delegation of powers, functions and duties of the Council.

22. Directions of the Minister.

23. All members of the Council etc. deemed to be public servants.

24. Council deemed to be a Scheduled Institution.

25. Expenses to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

26. Regulations.

27. Interpretation.

28. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

19 of 2017.

AN ACT to provide for the development and implementation of a National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka; for the establishment of a Sustainable Development Council and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 6th October, 2017]

preamble

WHEREAS the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and one hundred and sixty nine associated targets were adopted by United Nation Member States in Two Thousand Fifteen:

AND WHEREAS Sri Lanka intends to design, develop and implement a National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development and facilitate all agencies responsible and to follow up and monitor the progress:

AND WHEREAS Sri Lanka would set its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national interest and circumstances and also incorporate such seventeen Sustainable Development Goals in national planning processes, policies and strategies in the relevant ongoing processes in the economic, social and environmental fields:

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Act.

2. Objects of this Act.

The objects of this Act shall be to—

(a) ensure that the National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development is prepared in accordance with section 11 of this Act and provide the legal framework for developing and implementing such National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development;

(b) ensure an ecologically efficient use of natural, social and economic resources;

(c) to promote the integration and maintain the equipoise of environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government; and

(d) formulate strategies in accordance with paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

3. Establishment of the Sustainable Development Council.

(1) There shall be established for the purpose of this Act, a Council called the Sustainable Development Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Council”).

(2) The Council shall, by the name assigned to it by this section be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in such name.

4. Constitution of the Council.

(1) The Council shall consist of the following members—

(a) the ex-officio members—

(i) the Secretary to the President;

(ii) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of Sustainable Development;

(iii) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of National Planning or his nominee;

(iv) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of Environment or his nominee; and

(b) eight other members (hereinafter referred to as the “appointed members”), appointed by the President—

(i) two members appointed by him on his own volition;

(ii) one member no Sustainable Development Goals minated by the Prime Minister;

(iii) two members nominated by the Minister assigned the subject of Sustainable Development; and

(iv) three members out of the nine persons nominated by the Provincial Councils; at the expiration of the term of office of such members appointed under this subparagraph, the balance number of persons nominated by the Provincial Councils shall be considered for second and third appointment in rotation:

Provided however, in the event a matter pertaining to any Provincial Council is taken up for discussion at any meeting of the Council, the member nominated by such Provincial Council shall have the power to participate at such meeting.

(2) The Chairman of the Council shall be appointed by the President from among its members.

(3) Every appointed member shall possess academic or professional qualifications and wide experience in science, economics, environmental science or social science and possesses specific experience in relation to sustainable development.

(4) Every appointed member other than the appointed members under subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall unless he vacates office earlier by death, resignation or removal, hold office for a term of three years from the date of his appointment and shall unless he has been removed, be eligible for reappointment.

(5) Every appointed member under subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) shall unless he vacates office earlier by death, resignation or removal, hold office for a term of one year from the date of his appointment and shall unless he has been removed, be eligible for reappointment.

(6) The President may, if he considers it expedient to do so, remove from office any appointed member after assigning reasons therefor.

(7) Any appointed member may, at any time resign his office by a letter to that effect, addressed to the President and sent by registered post.

(8) In the event of vacation of office by death, resignation or removal of any appointed member, the President may having regard to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) appoint any other person to succeed such member. Any member so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the member whom he succeeds.

(9) Where an appointed member, by reason of illness, infirmity or absence from Sri Lanka for a period of not less than three months, is temporarily unable to perform his duties, it shall be the duty of such member to inform the President in writing of such inability. The President may, on receipt of such information, having regard to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) appoint some other person to act in his place.

5. Quorum and meetings of the Council.

(1) The quorum for a meeting of the Council shall be five members.

(2) The Chairman shall preside at every meeting of the Council. In the absence of the Chairman from any meeting of the Council, the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of Sustainable Development shall preside at such meeting.

(3) The Council shall hold its meetings once in every three months in every year.

(4) All questions for decision at any meeting of the Council shall be decided by the vote of the majority of members present at such meeting. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall, in addition to his vote have a casting vote.

(5) Subject to the preceding provisions of this section, the Council may regulate the procedure in relation to the meetings of the Council and the transaction of business at such meetings.

6. Acts or proceedings of the Council deemed not to be invalid by reason of any vacancy.

No act or proceeding of the Council shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy in the Council or any defect in the appointment of a member of the Council.

7. Remuneration of the members of the Council.

The members of the Council shall be remunerated in such manner and at such rates as may be determined by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister assigned the subject of Finance.

8. Disqualification from being a member of the Council.

A person referred to in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 4 shall be disqualified from being appointed or continuing as a member of the Council—

(a) if he is or becomes a member of, Parliament, any Provincial Council or any local authority;

(b) if he has been declared an insolvent or an undischarged bankrupt under any law in Sri Lanka or any other country;

(c) if he is under any law in force in Sri Lanka or any other country found or declared to be of unsound mind;

(d) if he is convicted of an offence involving in moral turpitude and punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than six months;

(e) if he is serving or has served a sentence of imprisonment imposed by a Court of Sri Lanka or any other country; or

(f ) if he has any financial or other interest as is likely, to affect prejudicially the discharge by him of his functions as a member of the Council.

9. Seal of the Council.

(1) The seal of the Council shall be in the custody of such person as the Council may decide from time to time.

(2) The seal of the Council may be altered in such manner as may be determined by the Council.

(3) The seal of the Council shall not be affixed to any instrument or document except with the sanction of the Council and in the presence of two members of the Council who shall sign the instrument or document in token of their presence.

(4) The Council shall maintain a register of the instruments and documents to which the seal of the Council has been affixed.

10. Powers, functions and duties of the Council.

The Powers, functions and duties of the Council shall be—

(a) to facilitate the achievement of national, regional and international commitments relating to sustainable development;

(b) to formulate National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development in consultation and with the concurrence of all relevant parties and nine Provincial Councils and place before the Cabinet of Ministers for approval;

(c) to review and update the National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development periodically as and when the Cabinet of Ministers so decides;

(d) to issue guidelines relating to sustainable development to the ministries, provincial councils and project approving agencies in respect of new development projects;

(e) to facilitate and monitor the mechanisms and progress review processes of the implementation of such National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development;

(f ) to appoint expert committees to study any specific matter;

(g) to identify sustainable development standards and ecological footprint indicators;

(h) to promote sustainable development including research and development, innovation, education awareness and eradication of poverty;

(i) to identify, introduce and follow up the mechanisms, audit mechanisms and all other matters relating to sustainable development;

(j) to acquire, hold, take or give on lease or hire, any immovable property;

(k) to open, maintain and close current and savings accounts in any State bank;

(l) to accept grants, gifts or donations from persons or bodies of persons, in or outside Sri Lanka:

Provided that, the Council shall obtain the prior written approval of the Department of External Resources of the Ministry of the Minister assigned the subject of National Policies and Economic Affairs, in respect of all foreign grants, gifts or donations made to the Council. Such written approval shall not impose any obligation or condition;

(m) to co-ordinate with the project approving agencies to achieve the seventeen sustainable development goals;

(n) to enter into, or perform, all such contracts as may be necessary for the exercise of its powers or the discharge of its functions; and

(o) to borrow such sums of money as may be necessary for discharging of its functions.

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