Youth-led ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

An instructor gives a lecture to a group of young people seated at tables in a semi-circle

Project title:  Youth Led Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Youth-Eco-DRR)

Location: Puttalam, Mullaithivu, Batticaloa and Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka)

Duration: July - December 2018

Project background: 

Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) is the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that reduce disaster risk by mitigating hazards and by increasing livelihood resilience. Among these hazards are droughts, floods, landslides and sea level rise. This strategy connects environmental conservation with DRR as described in Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which advocates an approach that is inclusive of multiple diverse stakeholders, including children and youth.

Opportunity exists to consolidate the Eco-DRR principles and practices to benefit and engage with local communities. In light of the changing climate, engaging youth, specifically, in Eco-DRR planning and implementation is considered an investment in the future. The basis of the proposed partnership between ChildFund and IUCN will be to enhance youth knowledge of the ecosystems around them; and to improve their understanding of the interlinkages between environment, climate and development.

This partnership plans to empower youth to adopt Eco-DRR in planning and practise. The selected districts – Puttalam, Mullaithivu, Batticaloa and Nuwara Eliya – are locations of potential disaster risk, and also present opportunities for youth to be involved in community decision-making.

Outcomes of the project:

•    Established an enabling environment for the delivery of Youth-Led Eco-DRR
•    Pilot youth-led Eco-DRR programmes in place at the field level
•    Facilitated mainstreaming and up-scaling of Youth-Led Eco-DRR


•    Collect and process global material on Eco-DRR to suit the Sri Lanka context
•    Add local environment, climate, disaster context and socio-economic data 
•    Develop and improve GIS, PRA and other tools for Youth Led Eco-DRR planning at field level
•    Develop site-specific data packages at the field locations that include area-specific information on a google GIS platform
•    Develop guidance notes on tool use in three languages 
•    Deliver Training of Trainers programme to field staff at a central location 
•    Conduct pilot-level fieldwork – including orientation, data collection, discussions and information processing –at one location per district with the participation of stakeholder groups
•    Review and improve the Eco-DRR (and other) plans developed collectively by community members, government, private sector etc. in the area 
•    Convert plans and underlying information to a GIS system to be used in programme implementation, monitoring and reporting
•    Prepare a dashboard mechanism to record and monitor progress for easy visualisation; capture case studies  
•    Prepare advocacy materials for policy integration based on the field-scale lessons learned; share lessons for policy and planning; and promote Youth Led Eco-DRR as key tool in the country
•    Develop a summary report that can be shared at global level and develop a Youth Led Eco-DRR certification course that can be delivered online

Donors: ChildFund Korea via ChildFund Sri Lanka office 

Partners: Voice Area Federation, Puttalam; Vavunathivu Development Organisation, Baticaloa; Abimana Community Development Association, Mullaithivu; Tea Field Child Development Federation, Nuwara Eliya 

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