Wednesday, 9 August 2017

An Uphill Battle for Sri Lanka: Addressing the Loss and Damage of Climate-Induced Disasters


Kanchana Wickramasinghe and Athula Senaratne
Sri Lanka experienced a notable increase in the frequency and the severity of floods, droughts and landslides in the recent past. Apart from these calamities, torrential rains and extended dry periods were common anomalies in the weather pattern. Although climate change may not be the only cause for these irregularities, it is viewed as one of the main contributors for such disasters, as they are climate related. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Climate Challenge: Bridging the Information Gap through Innovative Climatic Information Products (CIPs)

By Athula Senaratne and Kapila Premarathne

Never in the recent history has Sri Lanka faced as many challenges due to disasters as the country did in the last decade. It experienced major floods in May 2016, a prolonged drought in 2016-17 Maha season and once again flash floods this May. Before that, flash floods disrupted the livelihoods of people in Anuradhapura in 2014. In 2013, fishermen lost lives and assets due to torrential rains and stormy conditions. Major floods in 2011 affected nearly all the districts. In just over 12 years, the country faced several other major disasters including, a tsunami, numerous landslides as well as the collapse of the largest waste dump yard, all of which claimed many lives, caused insurmountable damage to property and had long-lasting impacts on the economy. For instance, the prolonged droughts in 2016 affected food production and consumers were still experiencing higher retail prices in the markets when they were hit by floods in Southern and Sabaragamuwa provinces. Except for the 2004 tsunami and the Meethotamulla tragedy, which have geological and anthropogenic origins, the majority of other hazard events are climate driven. Consecutive climate-related disasters in recent years indicate the urgent need for disaster resilient coping mechanisms.  

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Yield Vs. Cost: The Difference between Organic and Inorganic Farming in Sri Lanka

By Chatura Rodrigo
Research Economist, IPS

Chemical based paddy farming is geared towards achieving higher yields with new improved rice varieties and new farming techniques. Therefore, the popular argument against the adoption of organic paddy farming is that it does not generate enough yields and that might constrain the supply of rice for Sri Lankans. However, a majority of organic farmers defend their efforts guaranteeing same yields as chemical based paddy farmers. (Organic farming also provides additional benefits, mainly Ecosystem Goods and Services). If there is no difference in the yield, the question raises as to “why farmers do not adopt organic farming?”. Perhaps, it may be the case that it is not about the yield that farmers are concerned, but about the cost that they incur in the production process.