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Thursday December 7th, 2023

French government aids Sri Lanka in satellite technology oil spill monitoring system

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French satellite group Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) today (12) to deploy satellites to detect oil spills into the sea around Sri Lanka.

The satellite based oil spill monitoring system is a pilot project by CLS, and will be funded by 600,000 euro from the French government.

“The ocean regulates our climate and supports sectors like tourism, fishing and international shipping,” French Ambassador Jean-François Pactet said.

The ambassador said the project was funded by a grant from the French Ministry of the Economy and will help Sri Lanka gain expertise in the fight against marine pollution through the use of cutting-edge technologies.

Related Story:

After high profile marine disasters, Sri Lanka approves French-funded oil spill monitoring service

The oil spill monitoring system was a step forward in enacting France’s Treaty of the High Seas, a national commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, the French ambassador said.

The project includes training and capacity building of officers.

Satellite imaging is not limited to oil spill monitoring.

“Using this technology you have the ability to detect vessels on the maritime domain. One very interesting application is fighting against illegal fishing,” Olivier Germain, Project Manager, CLS, said.

“Even if they switch off all their equipment to declare their position, you can see them. They are suspicious vessels you may want to inspect.”

“There are also other applications. These kinds of images have the ability to provide measurements of the maritime environments. You can measure parameters like surface wind, waves, swells and sea surface currents.

“You can do charting of the coastal environments from urban developments, to agriculture, or forestry. You can do maps in time, and detect changes in a very precise manner,” Germain said.

CLS’ Maritime Surveillance and Safety Director David Bajouco said that a similar system deployed has been used in Europe by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

“They have been operating a similar system for almost 15 years now, and the results that have been achieved have been quite tremendous.”

Sri Lanka witnessed two large scale marine disasters within nine months since September 2020: Both the MT New Diamond, a large crude carrier and the X-press Pearl MV with large amounts of chemicals that caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka.

An analysis of its cargo manifest revealed that the MV X-Press was transporting hazardous materials including 25 tonnes of Nitric Acid, according to the International Maritime Hazardous Goods Regulation (IMDG regulation).

Appearing before parliament in July, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka has filed cases in Singapore courts seeking 22.1 million US dollars for damages to the marine environment and 273.014 million US dollars for livelihood losses to fishermen.

India has sought 495.3 million Indian rupees from Sri Lanka as the cost for firefighting operations, which was 1941.5 million in Sri Lankan rupees. (Colombo/Sep12/2023)

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COP28 sees new era for climate action with $57 bln pledge; Sri Lanka’s proposals need approval

ECONOMYNEXT – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has witnessed governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropies announcing support of over $57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the global event with eight pledges and declarations receiving historic support.

After a historic deal to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on the first day, announcements have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy.

On climate finance, the COP28 host United Arab Emirates launched a $30 billion catalytic fund, ALTÉRRA, with an emphasis on unlocking private finance across the Global South.

The host nation also has announced $200 million for SDRs and $150 million for water scarcity.

The World Bank has announced an increase of $9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, while the first two days of COP28 saw $725 million in pledges after a historic response to loss and damage was operationalized.

Eight new declarations have been announced which are expected to help transform every major system of the global economy.

These include the first ever declarations on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, as well as initiatives to decarbonize heavy emitting industries.

The eight declarations are:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge has been endorsed by 119 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate has received endorsements from 137 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health has been endorsed by 125 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace has been endorsed by 74 countries and 40 organizations.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance has been endorsed by 12 countries.
  • The Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge has been endorsed by 64 countries.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has been endorsed by 51 companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production.
  • The Industrial Transition Accelerator has been endorsed by 35 companies and six industry associations, including World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, International Air Transport Association.

Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender. The number of countries supporting these declarations and pledges is growing and demonstrates an unprecedented level of inclusivity at this COP.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced three new proposals: Climate Justice Forum (CJF), Tropical Belt Initiative (TBI), and International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka.

However, the proposals are yet to get approval from the general UN body though the island nation’s authorities expect wide support for the moves.

“What we have done is to talk to countries about the initiatives and launch them. Next step is for them to be formally recognized by the main body,” Ruwan Wijewardena, the Senior Advisor to President Wickremesinghe on Climate change, told Economy Next.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

  • Loss and Damage: $725 million
  • Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)
  • Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion
  • Technology: $568 million
  • Methane: $1.2 billion
  • Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)
  • Food: $2.6 Billion
  • Nature: $2.6 Billion
  • Health: $2.7 billion
  • Water: $150 million
  • Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion
  • Local Climate Action: $467 million (Dubai/Dec 6/2023)
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Sri Lanka to start international tourism branding campaign

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will soon start a tourism international marketing campaign under the theme ‘You will come back for more,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

“We have not had a branding campaign for 15 years,” Fernando told parliament. “A campaign has been developed by Ogilvy.

“It will help us reach the target of 2.3 million tourists next year.”

This year Sri Lanka is expecting a 1.5 million tourists with close to 1.3 million reached by November.

About 6,000 tourists are now coming each day, at the moment he said.

On December 10, three cruise ships are due. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)

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Sri Lanka 3-month Treasuries yields fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasury bill yields eased across maturities with the tree month yield falling 19 basis points to 14.67 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

A total of 185 billion rupees in bills were sold, with sharply lower than offered volumes in 12-months sold.

The debt office offered 55 billion rupees of 3 -month bills and sold 87 billion.

92 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold after offering 60 billion at 14.38 percent down 14 basis points.

Only 5.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold after offering 70 billion rupees, at 12.88 percent, down 01 basis point. (Colombo/Dec06/2023)

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