Sri Lanka to conduct rapid assessment of coastal climate risks

The Stimson Center, Commonwealth Blue Charter and the Government of Sri Lanka, announced a new partnership in Sri Lanka to conduct a rapid assessment of coastal climate risks and options.

The Rapid Assessment is based upon and complements the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI) tool, an innovative risk analysis tool that compares a diverse range of economic, social, and environmental risks to produce climate and ocean risk profiles for coastal cities. These detailed profiles help governments, businesses, and financial institutions assess a city’s climate risk and pinpoint key areas of action to help adapt to the climate emergency.

As one of three pilot project countries, Sri Lanka will work with expert analysts to review the results, better understand the available options, and formulate next steps that can be taken in order to develop climate-smart policies.

“Sri Lanka is extremely prone to the threats associated with climate change. Sri Lanka suffers from rising sea levels, rising temperatures,” said Ms. Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake, Acting Additional Secretary, Ocean Affairs, Environment and Climate Change at the Foreign Ministry – Sri Lanka. “Flooding, drought and coastal erosion among other climate impacts, threaten our natural environment and our tourism-based economy. We are eager to begin the CORVI Rapid Assessment as it will be integral in providing the necessary data to our environmental leaders so that we can intervene to address Sri Lanka’s climate threats as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

The partnership will collect empirical data on the nature and extent of climate and ocean risks affecting Sri Lanka, interview experts and consider next steps in 2022.

“Through the pilot project, we hope to quickly arrive at tailored options to help prevent or mitigate the impacts of climate change in a realistic and attainable way,” said Dr Jeff Ardron, lead for Commonwealth Blue Charter programme. “The development of CORVI Rapid Assessment is a welcome opportunity for Blue Charter member countries. We thank the Government of Sri Lanka for stepping forward as one of three pilot countries that will be trialing this new approach.”

“The climate crisis is not stopping any time soon. We at the Stimson Center recognize the need for a rapid triage of the most vulnerable coastal countries and cities, and what can be done to most effectively mitigate those effects of Climate Change,” said Sally Yozell, Senior Fellow and Director of the Stimson Center’s Environmental Security Program. “The team at the Stimson Center developed CORVI in order to aid decision makers and thought leaders to make smart investments that will protect their communities from the impacts of climate change. We are eager to continue CORVI’s expansion in Sri Lanka and many other island countries.”

The project is generously supported by the United Kingdom’s Blue Planet Fund through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. For more information on Stimson’s Climate Security project and CORVI, visit https://www.stimson.org/project/climate-security/ .

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity & justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation.  The Stimson Center’s Environmental Security program explores the array of environmental threats, both human and natural, that have the potential to undermine national, regional, or global security. More at www.stimson.org . (Colombo Gazette)

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