Stakeholders identify key actions for climate and disaster risk management in Sri Lanka 

March 14, 2023

The meeting of the Multi-Actor Partnership (MAP) on Climate and Disaster Risk Management in Sri Lanka was hosted by SLYCAN Trust on January 24th, 2023, with the participation of key stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector, civil society, academia, and others. The event brought together over 25 entities to discuss ways to strengthen knowledge exchange and cooperation on climate and disaster risk management, finance, and transfer, especially on thematic areas related to food systems, tourism, fashion, and entrepreneurship/MSMEs in Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the event, SLYCAN Trust’s Director: Research & Knowledge Management, Mr. Dennis Mombauer, highlighted the importance of innovative and inclusive financial instruments for addressing climate and disaster risks and impacts.

“It is crucial to properly understand the role of different actors for inclusive and effective climate and disaster risk management and finance in Sri Lanka. We have mapped the enabling environment in Sri Lanka and identified opportunities for enhancement of existing mechanisms as well as the potential for new and innovative risk management approaches that can contribute to long-term resilience for all and protect communities as well as economic sectors.”

He further added that “as part of SLYCAN Trust’s activities and goals for 2023 and beyond, we aim to build on the collected evidence to continue our engagement with key stakeholders, enhance capacities, and strengthen vertical as well as horizontal integration. While the first phase of our work under this project has focused on food systems, we are now putting an additional focus on the fashion, tourism, and trade sectors, with entrepreneurship as a key cross-cutting thematic area.”

Dennis Mombauer, Director - Research & Knowledge Management at SLYCAN Trust speaking at the event

In her speech at the event, SLYCAN Trust's Executive Director, Attorney-at-Law Vositha Wijenayake, emphasized the importance of synergies between economic empowerment and long-term climate resilience of communities. She also highlighted the contribution of the EthicalX: Climate & Innovation Hub to managing climate risks and supporting climate-friendly and resilient entrepreneurship across key sectors.

“The EthicalX initiative has already expanded at a regional and global level, where we have partnered with several governments and organizations. The initiative aims to work through such partnerships to support climate-friendly and resilient entrepreneurship by integrating risk transfer solutions as a key component of risk management,” she said.

“The EthicalX initiative focuses on contributing to activities at all levels, especially the local level. The work in Sri Lanka has contributed to capacity-building and providing support for climate-resilient entrepreneurship at both local and national level,” she added.

Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director at SLYCAN Trust Global speaking at the event

During the discussion participants discussed key actions to address climate and disaster risk under several thematic areas.  Some of the key actions that were discussed during the discussion were promoting ecotourism and eco-friendly tourism practices; strengthening certification processes; prioritizing renewable energy sources; allocating funding for sustainable initiatives; creating a comprehensive education system from school to universities and beyond; incorporating CDRFI into the curriculum; building financial literacy; conducting baseline assessments on sectoral entrepreneurship; streamlining processes for government and financial institutions to raise awareness and provide information on health risks, safety risks, and potential risk management; investing in the development of value-added products to increase the resilience of the agricultural sector; developing new crop varieties and climate-smart technologies; and developing a database and/or app for sharing data on weather, crop yields, and other relevant information.

Moreover, the discussion highlighted the need to expand the involvement and participation of a diverse group of stakeholders in managing climate and disaster risk, enhance capacities on climate and disaster risk finance, and build collective actions and proposals for financing different sectors to address climate change, drawing upon existing initiatives and frameworks. The attendees emphasized the importance of all stakeholders–including government bodies, financial institutions, and technical support providers–to be part of and support these efforts through funding, collaboration, and technical expertise.

The meeting brought together stakeholders from the Prime Minister's office, government departments and institutions, and the banking, insurance, tourism, and trade sectors. The discussions amongst participants focused on their respective roles, the overall risk management landscape, and on activities that address climate and disaster risk across different thematic areas including food systems, tourism, entrepreneurship, and SMEs. The members of the MAP worked to build common actions and inclusive solutions for climate and disaster risk management that are implementable through collective action and joint initiatives of the partnership.

This event was organised as an activity in the lead-up to the next phase of the project “Multi-Actor Partnership on Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Preparedness in the Context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership” as well as to identify priority sectors and actions for climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) in Sri Lanka. 

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.