IUCN, UNEP, UNDP in partnership with Central Environmental Authority and Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka organized the above event. The Opening Ceremony of the Consultative Workshop on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Sustainable Development kicked off at The Albatross, Waters Edge, CapitalCity, Battaramulla, on Tuesday, 24 May, 2011 among a large gathering of expertise in the field.
Dr R H S Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Environment gave his welcoming words followed by Ms Marina Mohamed, Secretary Ministry of Disaster Management.
Dr Conor Skehan representing UNEP gave his Keynote address on ‘Making the case for Eco-DRR’
The first Session of the first day welcomed and introduced the participants while focusing on the fundamental concepts of eco-DRR and its multiple benefits for risk reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development.
The second session deepened participants’ understanding of the core messages in the first session. The participants went into plenary discussions with the use of graphic and visual tools to discuss the types of ecosystem services and its contribution to DRR and sustainable livelihoods based on case studies and examples from other countries and contexts. The second session focused also on eco-DRR links to climate change adaptation.
The third session geared the participants to develop an Agenda for Action designed to promote greater understanding of eco-DRR through group work. Mr. U W L Chandradasa, Director Disaster Management Centre provided the national context to the DRR in Sri Lanka before participants embarked on the group work.
The second day focused on what has been done to integrate eco-DRR in to development planning/programming.
Prof Saman Samarawickrema, Senior Lecturer, University of Moratuwa gave insights into coastal ecosystems as a natural defense.
Dr Herath Manthrithilake, Head, Sri Lanka Initiative, representing IWMI spoke on DRR in Integrated Water Resource Management.
The second day was wrapped up with presentations by the groups and the awarding of certificates.
The Official launch of the Integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Northern Province including presentations of Agenda for Action took place at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo on 26 May, 2011.