The agriculture sector of Sri Lanka plays an important role in the country’s economy and is one of the sectors that is most vulnerable to climate change.
Changing weather patterns, pest and animal attacks, and soil degradation, among other factors, have decreased the productivity of the sector, resulting in implications to livelihoods, food security, and the economy. Climate and disaster risk management in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector can go a long way in ensuring that farmers and other stakeholders are able to cope with and adapt to risks brought about by climate change and disasters.
As part of SLYCAN Trust’s work related to climate and disaster risk management and resilience building in the agriculture sector, a workshop titled ‘Climate and Disaster Risk Management in Sri Lanka’s Agricultural Sector’ was organised to focus on the key climate impacts in the agriculture sector and to identify the existing mechanisms to help cope with and adapt to risks in the agriculture sector.
The event was organised by the Media Centre for National Development, the Ministry of Mass Media, the Ministry of Agriculture, and SLYCAN Trust at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo, on 22 March 2021.
During the discussions and group engagement at the workshop, participants identified key inputs focused on addressing climate and disaster risk, entry points for scaling-up actions to address them, lessons learnt, and good practices.
A summary of the key points is as follows:
During the discussion, methods were proposed to enhance climate risk management and existing finance and risk transfer mechanisms.
Key recommendations and suggestions were as follows:
This multi-stakeholder event was presided over by Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage and included as speakers SLYCAN Trust’s Senior Technical Expert Dr. Ranjith Punyawardena and InsuResilience Secretariat Head Dr. Astrid Zwick.
The event was attended by key officials from Government departments working on agriculture, irrigation, rural and sustainable development, climate change, disaster management, and finance, as well as representatives from the banking and insurance industry, the private sector, civil society, academia, and other entities.
The workshop builds on previous multi-stakeholder consultation, workshops, and research conducted by SLYCAN Trust under the ‘Multi-Actor Partnerships on Climate and Disaster Risk Financing and Preparedness in the Context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership’ project. This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by SLYCAN Trust in collaboration with Chrysalis as a local partner in Sri Lanka.