Mainstreaming Sri Lanka’s Climate Change Adaptation Needs

[Colombo, Sri Lanka] Tuesday September 22, 2015  – National Steering Committee of Climate Action Network South Asia, lead by Janathakshan in partnership with CARE Sri Lanka and the Southern Voices Programme on Climate Change conducted a workshop on “Adapting to Climate Risks in the 21st Century: Civil Society’s Role in Implementing the Sri Lankan National Adaptation Plan,” on Monday September 21, 2015 at Taj Samudra, Colombo 03. The workshop involved multi-stakeholder participation including those from relevant government, non-governmental sectors and civil societies.

“The time has come for us to move away from business as usual and streamline our development practices. We already have impacts of climate change with more intense and recurrent appearances of natural disasters and framing of the National Adaptation Plan is undoubtedly the need of the hour,” said Janathakshan CEO, Ranga Pallawala.

Established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework in 2010, the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) is a process that enables developing countries to map out an adaptation plan by identifying and prioritising medium and long-term needs to adapt to climate change impacts. The primary objective of the NAP is to ensure that it is a continuous, progressive and an iterative process that follows a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach.

“The National Adaptation Plan will define the country’s future development priorities and will form the basis of its climate change response. The plan is part of a rolling process that gives the country the flexibility necessary to easily amend and improve in time to come,” said IPS Research Fellow and lead Consultant to the Climate Change Secretariat on the formulation of the NAP, Dr Athula Senaratne.

The workshop also introduced to participants the climatic risks faced by Sri Lanka and discussed the issues faced to develop recommendations for responding to those risks. It focused on the Joint Principles on Adaptation (JPA) designed by the Southern Voices Programme on Climate Change as an initiative to promote pro-poor and pro-vulnerable adaptation plans and policies in different countries.

“The JPA is designed to help multi-stakeholders including policy makers, civil society, academia, private sector and other stakeholders to work together in the formulation, implementation and the monitoring of NAPs and adaptation policies. The JPA is a valuable tool that can help evaluate a country’s NAP, and policies and  ensure that they are guided by values focus on those focusing on the vulnerable groups,” said Regional Facilitator for Asia for Southern Voices Programme and Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Climate Action Network South Asia, Vositha Wijenayake. Apart from Sri Lanka, the JPA is also been tested in Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia in Asia, and in twelve countries in the world.

Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) is a coalition of over 120 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.

The Southern Voices is a coalition of climate networks and partners in the Global South, supported by a Consortium of Danish development NGOs – all engaged in the international negotiations on climate change.

CARE Sri Lanka established in 1950 with a focus on food security and maternal and child health. Today, CARE’s work in the country addresses the root causes of poverty and marginalisation of vulnerable groups by building the skills of communities and promoting good governance within both government and community organisations.

Janathakshan (GTE) Limited is a not for profit company established in 2011 to promote sustainable and green solutions in development to Sri Lanka and beyond. Janathakshan; meaning “people’s technology” or “technology for people” roots itself in the work of Practical Action, a technology based INGO operated in Sri Lanka for over two decades.



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