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The 1984 Coast Conservation Act


Tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if the Sri Lankan government had properly enforced a 1984 law banning development in coastal areas, it emerged this week. The 1984 Coast Conservation Act was introduced to stop coastal erosion caused by unplanned development. A Coast Conservation Department was set up to issue permits for any development within 300m of the shoreline, but lacked resources to carry out proper enforcement.

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