Symposium on ‘Coping with Climate Change: Sharing Experiences and Challenges from Rural Sri Lanka

IPS Research Economist Chatura Rodrigo presented a paper on ‘Fighting Climate Change through Community Based Adaptation (CBA): Assessment of the Factors that Determine the People’s Willingness to Take Part in CBA in Agriculture Sector’ at the symposium on ‘Coping with Climate Change: Sharing Experiences and Challenges from Rural Sri Lanka’ organized by the Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) of UNDP on July 16 and 17 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister for Disaster Management was the Chief Guest at the event.

The Symposium brought together over 150 rural people, community-based and civil society organizations working towards managing local impacts of climate change adaptation projects to share experiences, knowledge and lessons learnt.

“Recent changes in weather patterns have caused billions in losses and damages,” said Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Dr. Batagoda, in his key note address. “For example, the Treasury had to allocate Rs.60 billion for flood control and flood damage in 2010 and 2011. Newly done roads and bridges were damaged due to unexpected and intense rainfall. In 2012, due to drought, we could only produce 18% of electricity through hydro power.”

Ms. Razina Bilgrami, UNDP Country Director in Sri Lanka, noted that supporting the sustainable development agenda of the country by providing technical assistance and capacity building support to further national development goals is a key priority of UNDP’s work in Sri Lanka. She further added, “the GEF Small Grants Programme has a history of 15 years in Sri Lanka working through some 300 partners, all local non-governmental organizations working in their own geographical area, and has played a key role in taking benefits of environmentally sustainable development to the communities on the ground, and therefore has a wealth of experience to share.”