The relevant Minister for the subject of Environment may by the order published in the Gazette, declare any area which is environmentally important or threatened or with higher necessity of protection to be declared as an Environmental Protection Areas under the provision of 24 (c) and 24 (d) of National Environment Act No.47 of 1980 amended by the Act No. 53 of 2000 and Act No. 56 of 1986.
Accordingly, the process of identifying suitable places/areas and declaring them as Environmental Protection Areas is carried out by the Central Environmental Authority.
Suitable areas/places to declare as an Environmental Protection Areas
01. Ecosystems with unique characters.
02. Places with landscape or geologically or geographically important and with aesthetic value.
03. Hydrologically important places.
04. Landscapes with tourist attractions.
05. Feckless lands with high risk of accident.
06. Areas/ landscapes which are scientifically important.
07. Areas important for flood retention.
08. Buffer Zones of environmentally important areas declared under other Acts and Ordinances.
09. Areas which are identified to be protected/ ConservedbyMaster Plans of other institutes/ areas which have been recommended to be protected by other policies or scientific studies.
10. Areas which have been identified to protect/conserve under other programmes or identified by scientific studies.
Prescribed activities within Environmental Protection Areas
The prescribed activities within the EPA and the conditions that should be followed when undertaking prescribed activities are clearly mentioned in the schedules of the relevant Gazette Notification.
Responsibility of Central Environmental Authority on Environmental Protection Areas
1. Preparation of management plans and implementation.
2. Assesmentof Project Reports.
3. Preparation of guidelines.
4. Approval of prescribed activities.
5. Monitoring activities.
6. Awareness of stakeholders, institutes and public.
Environmental Protection Areas Declared Under CEA