Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Need for Climate Change Resilience in Urban Infrastructure: A Closer Look at Sri Lanka

By Chatura Rodrigo
IPS Reseracher 


Rapid urbanization has aggravated the deficiencies of basic services and infrastructure in the developing world, particularly in the Asia and Pacific. In many of these countries, evolving infrastructure can be particularly climate-sensitive and therefore highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Because climate-related events cut across socio-economic sectors and administrative jurisdictions, they can jeopardize development objectives in distant places. Public infrastructure tends to be multifunctional in nature and serves a range of diverse stakeholders spread over a wide geographic area; directly or indirectly providing critical services to the areas they cover. Interruptions in services can cause negative economic impacts over a large territory. The lack of reliable services impedes a country’s ability to pursue development goals. For this reason, it is vital that development strategies incorporate efforts to increase the climate resilience of infrastructure, especially taking into consideration the risks of climate change.

Multiple Actors: The Challenge of Building Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Sri Lanka

By Centre for Poverty Analysis[1]

Climate change is a global phenomenon that is predicted to disproportionately impact low and middle income nations who have less economic stability and greater levels of poverty. Poor communities within these societies who are least able to withstand external shocks will face the brunt of the impact. They will need support from the state and non-state actors to be better prepared, protected and enabled to recover from these shocks. This situation challenges developing countries to meet economic and social development agendas while reducing or minimizing the impact on the natural environment. It is challenging developing countries to adopt sustainable pathways to development that try to achieve a sustainable balance between human and environmental wellbeing. In Sri Lanka, efforts to put in place more sustainable practices and to address climate change are taking shape. Various interventions are advocated and are being tested from policy to practice, involving a range of stakeholders or “actors”. This essay examines how different levels of actors attempt to address climate change. It uses an actor-based approach to analyze what enables or impedes adaptation for different levels of actors and draws from a study carried out within the context of agriculture, fisheries, and tourism livelihoods in coastal areas of Sri Lanka.