ADB assists Sri Lanka formulate National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

Sunday, 14 November 2010 23:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will hold a workshop ‘Strengthening Capacity for Climate Change Adaptations’ on Tuesday, 16 November to discuss how best Sri Lanka can tackle the impact of climate change.

ADB has been working with the Ministry of Environment in Sri Lanka, to formulate a National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation. This technical assistance project has come up with a new framework to enable Sri Lanka’s economy and people to cope with climate change impacts.

“Sri Lanka needs to adapt to climate change to ensure that its economic development can continue without disruption or setbacks, and investments in poverty reduction, food and water security and public health will not be undone,” said Vidhisha Samarasekara, Climate Change Specialist at ADB who will be speaking at the workshop.

The strategy process has codified the current knowledge base, identified needs and priorities, and helped formulate five strategic thrusts. Technical studies carried out under this project reveal that the island nation can increase its resilience through efforts involving the state, private sector, civil society and the academia. However, there is currently a lack of urgency about what needs to be done in various sectors.

Sri Lanka is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts from rising temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense disasters such as floods and droughts.  Some impacts are already happening, and they will get worse in the coming years. Adverse impacts of climate change are already highlighted in the Government’s Green Lanka programme as priority areas requiring action.

The draft Strategy will be presented at the final workshop on ‘Strengthening Capacity for Climate Change Adaptations in Sri Lanka’ on 16 November 2010 at Waters Edge, Battaramulla from 9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.  Key representatives of the Government and other key stakeholders are expected to attend. Once presented the draft strategy will await formal approval by the Government.  The workshop will be open to the media.

The Asian Development Bank is supporting many countries in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. ADB is also seriously looking at supporting climate change adaptation projects across the region.   ADB has a climate change fund specifically focused on this and is looking to integrate climate change considerations into ongoing operations in a range of sectors.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2009, it approved a total of $16.1 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, and guarantees, a trade finance facilitation programme, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. ADB also mobilised cofinancing amounting to $3.2 billion.