UN-HABITAT and Partners Support Climate Resilience of Coastal Sri Lankan Cities

4 November 2011: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), the University of Moratuwa, the Batticaloa Municipal Council (BMC) and the Negombo Municipal Council (NMC), has launched a project titled "Climate Resilient Action Plans for Coastal Urban Areas, Sri Lanka (CCSL)" aimed at enhancing the resilience to climate change of coastal Sri Lankan cities through disaster risk management.

According to UN-HABITAT, approximately 80% of Sri Lanka's economic infrastructure is located in coastal cities, making the country highly vulnerable to climate impacts, such as sea level rise, flooding, salination of water resources, storms, cyclones, and droughts.

The project, part of UN-HABITAT's Cities and Climate Change Initiative, is expected to be implemented over the next 20 months in the municipalities of Batticaloa and Negombo, with funding from the Nordic Climate Facility. The project will support the two municipalities in: developing and implementing climate-resilient action plans; establishing GIS-based Rapid Response System (RRS) and Knowledge Management Centers; and providing training on disaster resilient, energy efficient, low-cost shelter adaptation for communities.

It is expected that lessons learnt from the project will benefit Sri Lanka's other coastal cities in developing climate-resilient action plans. [UN-HABITAT Press Release]