Govt. partners with Stimson Center, Commonwealth Blue Charter on Climate Risk Rapid Assessment Project

Friday, 14 January 2022 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • The CORVI Rapid assessment will help Sri Lanka prioritise investments in protecting coastal communities

The Stimson Center, Commonwealth Blue Cha-rter, and the Government of Sri Lanka have announced a new partnership in Sri Lanka to conduct a rapid assessment of coastal climate risks and options.

The Rapid Assessment is based upon and complements the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI) tool, an innovative risk analysis tool that compares a diverse range of economic, social, and environmental risks to produce climate and ocean risk profiles for coastal cities. 

These detailed profiles help governments, businesses, and financial institutions assess a city’s climate risk and pinpoint key areas of action to help adapt to the climate emergency.  As one of three pilot project countries, Sri Lanka will work with expert analysts to review the results, better understand the available options, and formulate next steps that can be taken in order to develop climate-smart policies. “Sri Lanka is extremely prone to the threats associated with climate change. Sri Lanka suffers from rising sea levels, rising temperatures,” said Foreign Ministry Acting Additional Secretary – Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake.

“Flooding, drought and coastal erosion among other climate impacts, threaten our natural environment and our tourism-based economy. We are eager to begin the CORVI Rapid Assessment as it will be integral in providing the necessary data to our environmental leaders so that we can intervene to address Sri Lanka’s climate threats as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

The partnership will collect empirical data on the nature and extent of climate and ocean risks affecting Sri Lanka, interview experts and consider next steps in 2022.

“Through the pilot project, we hope to quickly arrive at tailored options to help prevent or mitigate the impacts of climate change in a realistic and attainable way,” said Commonwealth Blue Charter Program Lead Dr. Jeff Ardron. 

“The development of CORVI Rapid Assessment is a welcome opportunity for Blue Charter member countries. We thank the Government of Sri Lanka for stepping forward as one of three pilot countries that will be trialling this new approach.”

“The climate crisis is not stopping any time soon. We at the Stimson Center recognise the need for a rapid triage of the most vulnerable coastal countries and cities, and what can be done to most effectively mitigate those effects of Climate Change,” said the Stimson Center’s Environmental Security Program Senior Fellow and Director Sally Yozell.

“The team at the Stimson Center developed CORVI in order to aid decision makers and thought leaders to make smart investments that will protect their communities from the impacts of climate change. We are eager to continue CORVI’s expansion in Sri Lanka and many other island countries.”

The project is generously supported by the United Kingdom’s Blue Planet Fund through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. 

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity and justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation. The Stimson Center’s Environmental Security program explores the array of environmental threats, both human and natural, that have the potential to undermine national, regional, or global security.

The Commonwealth Blue Charter is an agreement by all 54 Commonwealth countries, adopted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 2018. Commonwealth countries agree to actively cooperate to address ocean-related challenges and meet commitments for sustainable ocean development. To date, 16 countries are leading / co-leading 10 Blue Charter Action Groups, including one on Ocean and Climate Change. 46 Commonwealth countries have joined one or more Action Groups.