‘Sri Lanka Next - Blue Green Era 2018’ | Sunday Observer

‘Sri Lanka Next - Blue Green Era 2018’

Sri Lanka, being a tropical country, is very much vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. As the country undergoes many changes in climate which are evident through events such as, fluctuations in temperature, sea level rise and change of rainfall patterns, they are significantly affecting the country’s economy, social stability and ecosystems.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement are among the major concepts set to address issues pertaining to climate change, with particular intervention plans to bring the issues off, as in the impacts on health. As a party to the UNFCCC, Sri Lanka ratified the Paris Agreement recognising its global role in facing and combating climate change impacts.

These particular concepts focus on the adaptation to situations caused by climate change and mitigating them within a broader work of sustainable development.

With the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment playing a prominent role, the Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) of the Ministry, the national designated authority for Green Climate Fund (GCF), are leading the process. National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Sri Lanka 2011-2016 prepared in 2010 and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) initiated in 2012 are the key establishments that come under the UNFCCC.

The National Adaptation Plan, prepared in line with several focal concerns set up by the UNFCCC, considers nine major vulnerable sectors, namely:

1. Food security

2. Water

3. Coastal sector

4. Health

5. Human settlements

6. Bio-diversity

7. Tourism and recreation

8. Export development

9. Industry-Energy-transportation

Bringing the above factors and the background for the topic of ‘climate change and its impacts’ into consideration, the Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment assisted by the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), Janathakshan (GTE), Sri Lanka Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN Trust) and Integrated Development Association (IDEA) hosted a media forum and a research forum on National Climate Change Research Strategy on October 19 and 20 at the BMICH. The program was titled, ‘Sri Lanka NEXT – Blue Green Era 2018’.

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 Since it is important to know what changes in the climate occur over time, why they occur, how do they make impacts on the environment and how to address them, the forums initially fixated on identifying communication needs and then on providing input to the Climate Change Communication Strategy of Sri Lanka and creating awareness on climate change. Followed by those primary goals, the major goals of the process are:

  • Increase the adaptation capacity of the individuals and of the community to cope with impacts of climate change.
  • Reduce the risks caused by climate change by enhancing the resilience of communities and ecosystems.
  • Capture the opportunities that arise as a consequence of climate change and make the best use of them.

 

Apart from those main concerns, the general purpose of the plan is to minimize the risks and damages associated with projected changes in the climate by adopting appropriate coping strategies and system improvements through expansion of knowledge regarding projected changes of climate relying on scientific research. The project will be coordinated at both sector and national levels of implementation with National Focal Point (NFP) taking the responsibility of the overall coordination of the plan. Considering the need for more climate change education and awareness training at all levels of society, the program focused on the shortage of research on climate adaptation and lack of clear implementation plans emphasizing the demonstration of commitment of Sri Lanka to Agenda 2030 including the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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