Green jobs

Green jobs in Sri Lanka: Linkages between environmental sustainability and decent work

'Greens Jobs' are a bright spot in Sri Lanka's Future of Work. This paper focuses on opportunities and sectoral challenges for Green Jobs in Sri Lanka, highlighting knowledge gaps, skills, environmental sustainability and decent work.

In its pursuit of sustainable development, what sectors could be the primary providers of green jobs for Sri Lanka? What can the government do to prepare for and facilitate the changes that lie ahead? This paper identifies sectors that could be the drivers of green job creation in Sri Lanka.

Policies to promote greener products, services and infrastructure could translate into higher demand for labour in a wide range of sectors and activities, and generate entirely new types of jobs through technological innovations that respond to the needs of environmental sustainability. However, a successful transition would only be possible if associated risks—disruption of existing employment patterns and alignment of new work opportunities and skills—are managed well. However, green jobs can’t be viewed narrowly as any jobs in sectors of the economy that provide environmental services; green jobs need to meet the twin criteria of decent work and environmental sustainability.

Findings about the opportunities for green jobs in each of the sector have been presented in the form of propositions. These propositions present the plausibility of green job creation, focusing on environmental sustainability and decent work conditions.

For its transition to a green economy, Sri Lanka would need appropriate skills training, education measures and policies, and programmes for skilling and reskilling of workers. Along with skilling needs, a better understanding and implementation of decent work conditions will be needed, especially since decent work deficits are persistent features for many South Asian countries.