Three international experts will assist the Sri Lankan government to assess the environmental impact from the MV X-press Pearl disaster.

According to a statement on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) they will be Stephane Le Floch who is an expert on oil, hazardous and noxious substances and Luigi Alcaro, a specialist in environmental impact assessment following oil, hazardous and noxious spills.  They both have previous deployment experience. The other is Camille La Croix, an expert on hazardous and noxious substances and marine litter.

The MFA had organized a meeting to brief the team of experts about the current ground situation and the action taken by the relevant local stakeholder agencies. It had been co -chaired by the Director General, Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Hasanthi Dissanayake and the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer- Hamdy.

The MFA statement said the meeting had paved the way for the experts to understand the mandate and roles of the local agencies. Initial discussions had taken place on how the experts will contribute to the impact assessment process with recommendations on future action that the key stakeholder agencies can take.

Present at the meeting were senior officials from the State Ministry of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, Marine Environmental Protection Authority(MEPA),  Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Coast Guard, National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Central Environmental Authority (CEA),  Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Ministry of Environment, Justice Ministry, Attorney General’s Department, the UN Office in Colombo and Asian Development Bank, European Union and several experts from the team established by MEPA to assess the ecological damage caused by the disaster.

The experts will be working closely with MEPA, NARA, the Ministry of Environment, CEA and the DWC. The work of the three technical experts will be supported by the European Union /ECHO through the United Nations Environment Programme.(SW)  



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