Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP Map Out SDG Investment for Private Sector to Support Recovery

The SDG Impact Standards were also introduced to the Sri Lankan market to guide investors and enterprises on integrating sustainability and the SDGs into management practices

The Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP in Sri Lanka on Aug. 30 announced the launch of the Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map (the Map), a market intelligence tool that seeks to direct private capital where Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) priorities, Government policy and market opportunity intersect, as the country seeks to rebuild its economy sustainably, using the SDG framework as its guide. The methodology for the Map was created by UNDP SDG Impact, a press release from participants said.

Explaining the Map will be a crucial tool to accelerate Sri Lanka’s recovery pathway and build forward better, the reease said it can be used by:

Investors wishing to explore Sri Lanka as an investment destination while also rendering benefits for local communities and the environmentEnterprises that want to adjust their business strategy towards inclusive models and are seeking market intelligence and investment rationale to validate their approach

Government agencies seeking to address entry level barriers for the private sector and to build an amenable ecosystem for the development of SDG enabling sectors

“In Sri Lanka, the Map was the result of a strong collaboration between UNDP and Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Council, the nodal government institution responsible for coordination, facilitation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka,” the release said.

“Sri Lanka’s apex investment promotion agency, the Board of Investments (BOI) of Sri Lanka, also provided input and validation during the development of the Map and is a key partner for the Map’s launch. Through secondary research and over 50 consultations with public and private sector organizations, the Map has identified 15 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) that cover investment themes and business models across five SDG priority sectors: Renewable Energy, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Food & Beverages and Consumer Goods,” the release added.

At the event, UNDP called on the private sector to adopt the SDG Impact Standards, the independent and global management standards that guide businesses and investors in their decisions to optimize interrelated economic, social and environmental impacts. The forthcoming SDG Impact Standards Assurance Framework and SDG Impact Seal recognizes investors and enterprises who are more likely to be contributing positively to sustainability, reducing the risk of impact-washing.

Speaking at the event, Mr. W.A. Sarath Kumara, Deputy Secretary Treasury, Ministry of Finance stated, “Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving the SDGs is explicit in our continued pursuit of national policies and development plans and programmes in alignment with SDGs over the years. Innovative financing mechanisms become imperative to synergize the government, private sector, and capital markets to generate the additional resources needed to finance the SDGs. The SDG Investor Map is therefore a timely intervention that would provide the potential investors with the required market information relating to potential investment opportunity areas.”

Highlighting how the map will inform Sri Lanka’s efforts to rebuild its economy sustainably, Ms. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Sri Lanka, said “a whole-of-society approach is needed to mitigate the immediate impacts of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and assure the country’s long-term sustainable development. The Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map offers a compelling pathway for private sector entities to increase the alignment of their investments with the SDGs. It complements the recently launched United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023–2027 by translating relevant country-level SDG gaps and priorities into private sector investment opportunities that will have lasting impacts on lives and livelihoods across the country.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Chamindry Saparamadu, Director General, Sustainable Development Council stated, ‘Partnerships underpin the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each stakeholder has particular strengths to bring to bear in delivering on the SDGs. Partnership and collaboration between the Sustainable Development Council and the UNDP in creating Sri Lanka’s first ever SDG Investor Map provides a classic example of how the strengths of each agency was leveraged to produce an innovative solution that could help bridge the financing gap for SDGs in Sri Lanka’.

Highlighting UNDPs role, Ms. Malin Herwig, Officer-In-Charge, UNDP in Sri Lanka commented, “The SDG Investor Map has provided us market intelligence on SDG aligned investment opportunities for Sri Lanka at this critical juncture. UNDP together with the Government of Sri Lanka, through the Map, calls for development partners, IFIs and private impact investors to come together to formulate financing solutions to contribute to the country’s recovery and SDG acceleration.”

Ms Fabienne Michaux, Director of SDG Impact concluded, “While there is much to be done, there is a great opportunity for the private sector to integrate sustainability and the SDGs into their investments and businesses to help Sri Lanka build forward better. The Sri Lanka SDG Investor Map has done a large part of the leg-work by identifying those sectors that will have the most development impact and that are aligned to the Government’s SDG targets. This coupled with the adoption of the SDG Impact Standards which guides the private sector to manage their impact, will further the country’s ability to build a more resilient future, leaving no one behind”.

About SDG Impact

SDG Impact is a UNDP flagship initiative, working to accelerate private sector contributions towards sustainability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Its aim is to make it easier for organizations to place sustainability, the SDGs and managing for impact at the core of business and investment purpose, how value is created, and how capital is allocated through its SDG Impact Standards and the SDG Investor Maps.

Learn more and follow us on Twitter @SDGImpact

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

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