Communicating Climate Realities on the Ground

[Colombo, Sri Lanka] – June 30, 2014 – Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Press Institute conducted the second Workshop on Climate Change and Development Journalism for local journalists yesterday, Monday June 30, 2014 at the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), Colombo 05. The agenda for the Workshop included climate change communication, an update of the recently concluded United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and private and public partnership for climate finance.

The speakers for the event included lawyer, journalist and trainer Dilrukshi Handunnetti, Janathakshan Director Ranga Pallawala and CANSA Policy and Advocacy Co-ordinator Vositha Wijeynayake.

“The June intersessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change discussed the key elements of the 2015 Agreement and the important factor lies in how these elements would affect the developed countries and the developing countries and if so to what extent.” said Vositha Wijenayake as she provided a summary about the recently concluded climate change negotiations.

Speaking on the role of the private sector partnerships for climate finance was Janathakshan Director Ranga Pallawala.

“The private sector should prioritise adaptation through their core businesses as not only are certain types of businesses directly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, but this should also be looked at in the perspective of business risk mitigation, wherein the private sector would be aware of and learn to project impending risks and adapt accordingly,” said Pallawala. He is also a Board Member of CANSA, Member of the National Steering Committee and also in the Expert Committee on Adaptation.

Speaking on communicating climate change and environmental issues Dilrukshi Handunnetti said,

“Climate change and environment issues have always been among the not very appealing topics in journalism. As journalists, writers and communicators, it is our responsibility to ensure that our communication is sanctioned through one of the many pre-occupations of Sri Lanka or the South Asian region,” said Handunnetti. She also pointed out that developing countries tend be more inclined towards political and development issues which leads to environmental concerns not being prioritised.

The workshop is a follow up of the CANSA – SLPI partnership to raise awareness on climate change in Sri Lanka. The series of workshops that took of in February this year has looked in to environmental concerns such as climate change adaptation, mitigation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, biodiversity conservation, the UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) programme and its implications to Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) has established itself as the leading media development institute in Sri Lanka. The Institute offers systematic training for journalists, promotes self-regulation in the print media and advocates for a free and responsible media in Sri Lanka.

CANSA is a coalition of 116 civil society organisations from seven countries of South Asia, demanding that all countries ratify the second commitment period of Kyoto protocol by 2015. CANSA is on a vision to strive actively towards the protection of the global climate in a manner that promotes equity and social justice between peoples, sustainable development of all communities, and protection of the global environment.


For further information contact Vositha Wijenayake on