Climate resilient action plans:
B'caloa, Negombo MCs as pilot areas
The Batticaloa and Negombo Municipal Councils have been selected as
pilot areas to implement a project to introduce climate resilient action
plans for coastal urban areas. The project aims to establish
multipurpose green belts to protect the lagoon and the coastal areas,
restore mangrove eco-system and coastal biodiversity in these two
municipal councils, said Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
The minister was speaking at the inaugural workshop of this project
held in Colombo yesterday. The project will develop and implement
climate resilient adaptation strategies and supporting action plans in
these two Municipal Councils during the next 20 months. These two areas
have been selected initially since they had experienced frequent floods
during the recent past.
Minister Yapa observed that the project would also develop a
Geographic Information System (GIS) based rapid response system and a
knowledge management centre for climate exacerbated disasters while
providing adaptation training on disaster resilient, energy efficient
and low cost shelter in the Negombo and Batticaloa areas.
The project is being implemented by the Norwegian Institute for Water
Research together with UN Habitat, Moratuwa University and the two
municipal councils. It is prepared in consultation with the Environment
Ministry to support climate change activities funded by the Nordic
Climate Change facility.
The minister said that the project would be replicated in other
coastal cities while climate change resilient approaches would be
included in the urban planning and budgetary frameworks with the lessons
learned from the process.
He also said that the ministry is working to promote and establish
forests and forest parks in urban areas to reduce the heat island
effect. He said that the government is specifically incorporating
environmental dimensions including climate change into national
development agenda to fulfill the vision of achieving the sustainable
development goals of the country.
Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hilde Haraldstad commended the
initiative and described Sri Lanka as a middle income country with fast
growth and development. Heads of the key stakeholders of the project and
specialists in the field also participated.