Sri Lanka opened its National Center for Climate Applications, having regional role as RIMES Sub-Regional Hub for South Asia

Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Irrigation and Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources Development, inaugurated the Sri Lanka National Center for Climate Applications (SNCCA) on 9 October 2019 at the premises of the Department of Irrigation in Colombo. The SNCCA is a technical support and coordinating body for climate applications in Sri Lanka, having operational links with the generator and users of climate information – i.e. the meteorological/ climate services agency, and the agriculture, forestry and biodiversity, animal husbandry, fisheries, water resources, infrastructure, urban development, rural development, health, disaster management, planning, and finance sectors. The Center shall also serve the South Asian region as RIMES Sub-Regional Hub for Climate Applications, providing an example to the region on the technical, institutional, and policy pathways that the country traversed in integrating climate risk management into risk reduction and development processes.

Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Irrigation and Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources Development, at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka National Center for Climate Applications and RIMES Sub-Regional Hub for South Asia

Efforts to establish a RIMES center for climate applications stemmed from the 2nd RIMES Ministerial Conference declaration on 10 July 2015 in New Delhi to pursue sub-regional mechanisms to implement RIMES programs, as proposed by Papua New Guinea. Such sub-regional mechanisms were deemed to be more effective, efficient, and sustainable ways to deliver RIMES programs, to meet growing demands from the increasing number of Member and Collaborating States that the Program Unit in Bangkok serves. At the 3rd RIMES Ministerial Conference on 25 August 2017 in Port Moresby, Sri Lanka offered to establish such sub-regional mechanism. Noting its rich experience in climate information application, Sri Lanka could encourage and be an example to other RIMES Member and Collaborating States to use climate information at different timescales in planning, decision-making, and in guiding investments, to better manage resources and reduce disaster risks. Thus, the concept of a Sri Lanka National Center for Climate Applications that will serve the country and the RIMES region was conceived. On 24 September 2019, the Sri Lanka Cabinet approved for the SNCCA to serve as RIMES Sub-Regional Hub for South Asia.

The SNCCA has the following vital functions:

  1. Support the development of climate risk management capabilities in climate-sensitive sectors
  2. Support the operation and maintenance of decision-support systems in each user-sector department
  3. Monitor and document climate applications
  4. Draft policy papers, based on evidence generated from climate applications, to influence policy on climate-resilient development
  5. Share country experiences in climate applications, to inspire and guide other countries in the RIMES region

A Steering Committee, chaired by the Secretary to Sri Lanka’s President, monitors SNCCA programs and activities, and provides policy support.

Linked with RIMES technical facilities in Thailand, the SNCCA shall channel the best of science and cutting-edge climate information technologies, through user-friendly decision-support systems, to Sri Lanka’s communities that are at risk to climate-related hazards.

Hon. P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Irrigation and Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources Development, and Mr. A.R. Subbiah, RIMES Director, along with key officials of partner institutions, at the Sri Lanka National Center for Climate Applications