Sri Lanka ranked 69th in 2014 Environment Performance Index (EPI).
The EPI which is a Global Environment Assessment index, is an exhaustive environmental impact assessment study made annually by the Yale University USA.
India stands in 155th, Bangladesh 169 and Pakistan 148 in the EPI.
The EPI identifies targets for several core environmental policy categories and measures how close countries come to meet them.
The EPI is a collaborative project between the Yale Centre for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University. It is supported by the World Economic Forum.
The EPI is arrived at in a process that calculates and aggregates 20 indicators that reflect environmental data at the national level of each country. These indicators in turn are combined into nine issue categories, each of which fit in to one of two overarching objectives Environmental Health and Ecosystem vitality.
Environmental Health includes Health Impacts, Air Quality ,Water and Sanitation. The Ecosystem Vitality takes account of Water Resources, Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Habitat, Climate and Energy.
EPI index measures Environmental & Ecosystem Vitality to compare and identify the best protectors and worst offenders of the environment in the world.
While health impacts, air quality water and sanitation make up the criteria to measure Environment Health, Ecosystem Vitality is measured by quality of water resources, agriculture, forests, fisheries, biodiversity and habitat, climate and energy.
Of particular significance is that Sri Lanka has defied global trend in air pollution and has shown no deterioration of the ambient air quality. Despite the steady and sharp increase in the vehicular population, which has seen a 33% increase over the past four years Sri Lanka has prevented any slide in the quality of air.
This encouraging achievement is attributed to the stringent vehicle emission testing programme introduced by Legislation in 2008.
In a related development the World Health Organization in a release from Geneva in March 2014 reported that in 2012 around 7 million people died as a result of exposure to air pollution. This works out to one in eight of total global deaths. It doubles earlier estimates and makes air pollution the largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution can save millions of lives.