ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION ENFORCEMENT CAPACITY OF GOVERNMENT THROUGH DIVISIONAL SECRETARY SOME EMERGING ISSUES
The Divisional secretary (OS) is the chief administrative officer at divisional level for boththe central government and the provincial councils. This paper attempts to examine the levelof authority held by the OS in relation to environmental management related legislationenforcement, Data was collected through individual discussions with relevant officers ordifferent institutes. people concerned. and through participatory observations of in Mihintalearea and by participating District Environmental Law Enforcement Committee (DELEClmeetings.
According to the Environmental Act No. 58 of 1988 (Revised), OS has the authority orpublic lands (less than 200 hectare) and is responsible for issuing permits for any small scaleindustry while Pradeshiyasaba is responsible for monitoring. In addition, OS is responsiblefor public land resources management. Other officers such as the Rural DevelopmentOfficer, the Community Development Officer, Samurdhi Managers. Samurdhi DevelopmentOfficers ctc., directed to OS office are responsible for duties relating to environmentalprotection and management. The majority of environmental complaints which are producedthrough Gramaniladharis to the OS are settled either through provisions in land legislationor by co-ordinating with other institutes. However these administrative officers do not haveformal training on environmental management.
The paper also discusses some cases related to environmental pollution and the coordinationof different institutions. In addition, social and political issues in environmentallegislation enforcement are discussed. Attitudes and constraints of DELEC on legislationenforcement are also discussed
Consideration of various institutes related to OS office as one unit in environmentalmanagement is very important and efficient. Though OS system is a legally andinstitutionally empowered and well organized institution for implementing environmentlegislation. it still runs in a traditional frame. Recommendations are made to improve andstrengthen the environmental legislation enforcement capacity for proper management ofresources.