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Sri Lanka faces triple-burden malnutrition: minister

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National Food Systems Dialogue calls for collaborative action to transform country’s food systems

Despite Sri Lanka achieving middle-income status, the country is facing a triple burden of malnutrition spanning undernourishment, over-nourishment and micronutrient deficiency, Minister of Agriculture, Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.

He said so sending a message to the participants of the National Food System Dialogue held recently.

Noting that the agriculture sector is the main contributor of safe and nutritious food for all, the minister reiterated the importance of transforming food systems to make it profitable and socially inclusive with positive impacts on the natural environment. So that food security and nutrition for future generations would not be compromised.

The National Food Systems Dialogue was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture to identify challenges in building sustainable food systems in Sri Lanka, ranging from production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products.

Sri Lanka’s Food System Dialogue is part of a series of national and provincial dialogues conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture ahead of the 2021 UN Food System Summi tset to take place in New York later this year.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, said: “The Summit convened by the Secretary General — part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 — is an opportunity for Member States to identify their own pathways to sustainable food systems and take the necessary action to address these unique challenges. The Summit offers a timely process for helping policy makers and food system actors to better understand the impacts of alternative courses of action and strengthen partnerships and our capacity for collective action.”

 

The National Food System Dialogue — a high-level virtual meeting of stakeholders from the government, private sector, civil society organisations and development agencies focused on the major challenges affecting the agri-food system in Sri Lanka. The dialogue explored collective actions that are needed to ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all, shift to sustainable consumption patterns, boost environment-friendly production, advance equitable livelihoods across the food systems and build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stressors.

Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Vimlendra Sharan spoke on the need for establishing policy measures and legal frameworks that support sustainable food systems while safeguarding natural resources.  Calling for innovative solutions he said, “Solutions of yester-years can’t be the answers for tomorrow. The Food Systems Summit gives us an excellent opportunity to move on from paradigms of the past.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed extreme inequities and inefficiencies in the food system which depend on thousands of food producers and processors, many of whom are living with very low incomes.  The pandemic came at a time when food systems were already under strain from natural disasters such as floods and prolonged periods of drought, climate change, and the arrival of transboundary pests and diseases such as Fall Armyworm.”

“The pandemic, despite all its ensuing turbulence, brought about remarkable learning opportunities, demonstrating the importance of preparedness in building resilient food systems,” said Abdur Rahim Siddiqui, Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Sri Lanka. “These national dialogues provide an excellent platform for collective action in reviewing our existing systems, evaluating our options and charting a clear path forward for better food security and nutrition for all.”

“The Food Systems Summit is an opportunity to make fundamental changes in food systems that would make them more equitable and sustainable. IFAD is proud to support the Government of Sri Lanka and work with relevant stakeholders to put smallholder farmers and other rural people at the heart of this process. Leveraging multi-stakeholder partnerships can transform food systems,” said Sherina Tabassum, Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Sri Lanka.

The Food System Dialogues organized by the Government of Sri Lanka led by the Ministry of Agriculture is supported by the UN, FAO, WFP and IFAD. Independent dialogues are also being promoted for individuals and organizations to propose innovative pathways towards sustainable food systems.

The collective outcomes of the Food System Dialogues held in Sri Lanka will inform the UN Food System Summit which will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.

 

 



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Sri Lanka Tourism introduces e-learning platform for all SLTDA registered tourist guides.

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As an initiative to uplift the reviving tourism industry in the country, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) have introduced the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform to all registered guides to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The launch of the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform took place this week under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Secretary of the Ministry S. Hettiarachchi and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando.

“Tourist guides play an important role in our tourism sector as they spend a lot of time with visitors from arrival to departure. It is important that our guides stay updated on their professional/technical knowledge and I hope this e-learning platform by Sri Lanka Tourism will help them enhance their knowledge and skills” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando shared while the Minister congratulated all the officials who were involved in bringing this initiative to reality.

Knowledge improvement, obtaining expertise knowledge from veterans, develop active participation with guests, improve the link between Tourism institutions & guides are some key objectives of this e-learning platform.

If you are a registered guide with SLTDA, you can now sign up on https://sltda.gov.lk/e-learning/login and avail of the online courses.

A certificate of completion will be given at the end of the course from SLTDA and SLITHM.

 

 

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Impact of Climate Change on marine and fresh water resources and combating water pollution

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Trilateral virtual dialogue among Pathfinder Foundation, Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence

The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has initiated a trilateral dialogue involving Sri Lanka, India and the Russian Federation to discuss issues of contemporary relevance. The first trilateral dialogue will be held to day 4:30 PM SLST on the “Impact of Climate Change on Marine and Fresh Water Resources and Combating Water Pollution: Best Practices from Russia, Sri Lanka and India”.

For this dialogue, Pathfinder Foundation will be partnering with Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence.

The distinguished panellists for the webinar are, Ambassador GlebIvashentsov, Vice President, Russian International Affairs Council, Ambassador (Retd.) Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman Pathfinder Foundation, Ambassador. IFS(Retd.) Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, Member Governing Council, The Asian Confluence and Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House,Dr. Anastasia Likhacheva, Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher Schoolof Economics, Dr. B. V. R. Punyawardena, Chairman, National Steering Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Governmentof Sri Lanka, Dr. Fraddry D’Souza, Area ConvenerandFellow, The Coastal Ecology & Marine Resources Centre, TERI Goa,India , Dr. Konstantin Zgurovsky, Senior Advisor, Marine Programme, WWF Russia, Mr. Sarath Premalal, Retired Director General of Meteorology of Sri Lanka and Prof. Vinay Kumar Dadhwal, Director, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Professor Indira Gandhi Chair, National Institute of Advanced Studies, India

Those who are interested in participating may kindly register at the following link; https://bit.ly/3AZbYAN Program details are available at https://bit.ly/3zdUkY3 . The event will also be live streamed on the PF Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pathfinderfoundation/

 

 

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Doc990 and MyDoctor partner SLVA to extend accessible veterinary services islandwide

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Sri Lanka’s premier digital health solutions service providers, Doc990 and MyDoctor are now enabling customers to access online veterinary services island-wide in partnership with the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association.

The national professional body serving and representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA), is dedicated to providing continued excellence within the profession of animal medicine and the provision of outstanding care for all animals while also actively creating public awareness of the contribution of veterinarians island-wide.

This collaborative effort with Doc990 and MyDoctor will bring pet owners, owners of farm animals and good Samaritans the ability to access remote video consultations with leading, specialist veterinarians of their choosing, without the hassle of physically entering hospital waiting rooms, transporting animals etc. This timely, contactless service will not only be convenient but also a relief to pet owners and caretakers in the backdrop of travel restrictions as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.

Customers can engage in video consultations with their chosen vet by downloading the Doc990 mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Through its widening network of hospitals and medical services, Doc990 strives to make health care accessible and convenient for all Sri Lankans.

 

 

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