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The launch of the Tropical Belt Initiative took place on the 02nd December 2023 at COP 28, Dubai, UAE at the Sri Lanka Pavilion, under the patronage of H.E. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President of Sri Lanka. The special guest at this event was Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, the former Prime Minister of Australia.

Dr Anil Jasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Environment emphasized that Sri Lanka is presenting a ‘Global Climate Solution’ devoid of geo politics to address the issue of tackling the Triple Planetary Crisis. The Sri Lankan global solution is based on power of the Natural Capital of the Tropical Belt, the enormous Renewable Energy capacity of the Tropical Belt and the highest biodiversity power of the Tropical Belt.

Prof. Buddhi Marambe, Senior Professor, University of Peradeniya, delivered the Key Note Address on the Tropical Belt. He elaborated on the role and significance of the Tropical Belt and noted that there were both developed and developing countries included among the 134 countries of the Tropical Belt. The climate vulnerabilities of the countries of the Tropical belt were further highlighted.

The Tropical Belt Initiative concept, the Carbon Net Zero 2050 Roadmap & Strategic Plan Synthesis Report and National Policy on Climate Change was ceremoniously launched.

H.E the President stated that the Tropical Belt has more ocean than land. The enormous potential of the ocean as global sinks needs to be utilized. It is necessary to establish a panel of experts to potential investments of the Tropical Belt in order to reconstruct the economy of the developing countries. He further went on to say that backing this initiative is the International Climate Change University. Sri Lanka has already demarcated an area in Kotmale for the establishment of the University. Joint programmes will be conducted with other countries.

The esteemed panelists and the topics they discussed ae listed below;

  • Renewable Energy Potential in the TB

Hon. Mohamed Nasheed, Former President of the Republic of Maldives

  • Natural Capital Investment Potential in the TB

Ms Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

  • Climate Prosperity Plan of Sri Lanka-

Hon. Ruwan Wijewardana, Senior Advisor on Climate Change to the President of Sri Lanka

  • Invest in TB

Mr Muralee Thummarukudy, Director, G20 Global Land Initiative

The event was moderated by Ms Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director, SLYCAN Trust.