Climate change:Sri Lanka to lose billions of rupees

By Ifham Nizam

Sri Lanka is likely to lose billions of rupees in terms of lost harvests due to climate change, says policy advocacy official.

Speaking at a workshop titled ‘Climate Change and Development Journalism’ yesterday in Colombo Ranga Pallawala, member of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation in Sri Lanka, who has also served as a member of the National Coordination Committee of Climate Change said that he believed that agricultural extension services were of paramount importance in today’s context.

Pallawala, who is also the Head of the Programme, Energy and Urban Development Practical Action in Sri Lanka, said that Sri Lanka was losing the market in Europe and Russia for creamy tea produced in the up country due to climate change impacts.

It was not only an environmental problem but would be a socio economic issue as well as political issue and the need was felt for a programme to be implemented gradually. Last year alone the tea industry had brought in USD 1.4 billion to the country, he said.

He also said that 10 per cent of population, one million directly and one million indirectly, depended on the tea industry. He added that likewise steps should be taken to benefit from all other agricultural products.

Ministry of Technology and Research Advisor cum Director Energy Forum Asoka Abeygunawardana, Vositha Wijenayake, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, Climate Action Network South Asia and Sri Lanka Press Institute Director Kumar Lopez also spoke.

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