Climate Change – Lanka Among the Most Affected

Apr 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, News, Vulnerability, Weather

0e9a06bd0c18787ac978e83c87fbb60f_MSouth Asia has been warned. The launch of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Working Group (WG) II by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) which focused on climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation has indicated that the region is in greater danger of sea-level rise and severe impact to countries agricultural sector.  Key findings stated that the Maldives, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be among the most-affected countries in Asia.

“The IPCC WG II Report highlights Asia as most vulnerable to impacts related to flood damage to infrastructure, livelihoods and settlements, heat-related human mortality and drought-related water and food shortage. It is the responsibility of both government and the civil society to come together to devise best practices for a carbon-neutral Sri Lanka,” said Climate Action Network South Asia Outreach and Advocacy Co-ordinator Vositha Wijenayake.

International Institute for Environment and Development Climate Change Group Senior Researcher, Global Climate Change Governance Team Leader and IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Lead Author Dr. Achala C. Abeysinghe who is in Yokohama, Japan for the launch of the second installment stated that it was imperative that Sri Lanka increased the country’s adaptation funding in order to combat climate change impacts.

“This report provides strongest evidence to date that countries like Sri Lanka will be particularly vulnerable to climate-related impacts, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires. Impacts of such climate-related extremes will include alteration of ecosystems, disruption of food production and water supply, damage to infrastructure and settlements, morbidity and mortality, and consequences for mental health and human wellbeing. The current level of adaptation funding will have to be increased to be orders of magnitude a lot greater than current investment levels,” said Dr Abeysinghe.

The region specific report highlights impending crises that will be evident in the sectors agriculture and food security; human settlements, industry and infrastructure; human health, security, livelihoods and poverty; ecosystems and water security in South Asia.

“Now we are 95 percent certain that climate change impacts in South Asia and the rest of the world are due to human activities. It was proved by the IPCC WG I report. We have scientifically proven projections for climate change and its impacts on social and economic aspects. In Sri Lanka we feel these impacts in the sectors of agriculture, water, tourism and trade. We hope that the decision makers from international to local levels will take this upcoming report seriously to ensure the current and project climate impacts of challenges are tackled with minimum negative effects,” said Climate Action Network South Asia Member of the of the Board of Directors, RangaPallawala.

The first instalment, Working Group I (WGI) that focused on the physical science basis of the climate system and climate change took place on September 23-26, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. The second instalment of AR5, the WGII launched its Summary for Policymakers today in Yokohama following the sessions held from March 25. WGIII is to take place on April 7-11, 2014 in Berlin, Germany and focus on addressing mitigation options.  The SPM is scheduled to launch on April 13, 2014. The final instalment will be a Synthesis Report that would be a culmination of the three Working Groups. The report is said to be released on October 27-31, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

CANSA is a coalition of 116 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.

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