Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) have launched a US $1.8 million project to help Sri Lanka expand its use of renewable energy sources, including wind, water and biomass, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions from thermal power. Much of Sri Lanka's domestic energy needs rely on an extensive hydro-power system, but due to drought, this form of energy has become highly unreliable. Local biomass energy stations are being developed and commercialised by project co-ordinators. They are studying plans for wind stations and village hydro-power sites.

Klaus Topler, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has announced the appointment of twelve new members of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), the advisory body to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The announcement was made at the opening ceremony of the first Global Environment Facility Assembly that took place in New Delhi, from April 1-3, 1998. Madhav Gadgil is the first scientist to be appointed as chair-person of STAP from a developing country since the establishment of the Global Environment Facility. UNEP was selected to provide the secretariat for STAP because of its role in the United Nations system for developing scientific and technical analysis, and advancing environmental management.

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