Sumith Pilapitiya is a Lead Environmental Specialist for the South Asia Environment, Water Resources and Climate Change Unit of the World Bank and a staff member of the World Bank’s Colombo Office.
Sumith joined the World Bank as a consultant in 1992 and worked initially as the National Program Coordinator of the Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program—a five city urban environmental management program in Asia. In 1995 he joined the World Bank’s Colombo office as Engineer (Energy, Environment and Infrastructure Operations) where he served as the focal point in the Bank’s Colombo office for the sectors of Energy, Environment and Infrastructure.
He now concentrates largely on environment and wildlife conservation projects in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He also manages a regional wildlife project assisting the Governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal in controlling illegal wildlife trade and addressing cross border wildlife conservation. The project focuses on conservation of charismatic flagship species such as the tiger, snow leopard, one horn rhinoceros and elephant. He also works on enhancing climate resilience of endangered species in Nepal and conserving biodiversity in high altitude northern area landscapes in Bhutan.
Since 2010, he is also the Lead Environmental Specialist responsible for the biodiversity and natural resource management thematic area in the South Asia Environment, Water Resources and Climate Change Unit as well as country coordinator for the unit’s environment programs in Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Sumith volunteers his time and technical knowledge in assisting interested Local Authorities in Sri Lanka manage their solid wastes, particularly in building local authority capacity in composting the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes, based on a model he developed for the Weligama Urban Council in the south of Sri Lanka. He also does research on elephant social behavior and is committed to conservation of elephants in the wild in Sri Lanka and to minimizing the human elephant conflict.
Sumith did his doctoral work in Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University in the US.