Climate-resilient traditional rice poised for comeback in Sri Lanka

New research by the Colombo based economic think-tank, the Institute of Policy Studies says that traditional rice varieties that went out favor in the last 60 years with the advent of hybrids, are much more reseilient than their successors. My story for the Thomson Reuters Foundation http://www.trust.org/item/20131010112839-bhdna/?source=hptop

Concerns growing over worsening food security in Sri Lanka – Thomson Reuters

 

Long-term interventions are essential to stem deteriorating food security among victims of frequent extreme weather events in Sri Lanka, experts warn.

In the last 20 months, parts of Sri Lanka have been hit by a severe drought and two bouts of floods that experts at the World Food Programme (WFP) and the government say have worsened the food security of victims.

In the last five years, according to UN estimates, between 3.5 million and 4 million people out of a population of little over 20 million have been affected by natural disasters in Sri Lanka – http://www.trust.org/item/20130917131123-k42lv/?source=hptop

When Disaster Rains, Talk – IPS

The 2013 South Asian Monsoon has left a trail of death and destruction from the southern coast o fSri Lanka, through Uttarakhand, India into Pakistan. Experts say that real time data and information sharing among the affected countries could reduce the dangers posed by the rains. – http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/when-disaster-rains-talk/

Ancient Kings Fight Climate Change – IPS

As erratic climate patterns take hold, researchers say that ancient  reservoirs built hundreds of years back, can serve to minimize flood waters and as receptacles for water during harsh droughts. http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/ancient-kings-fight-climate-change/

Could Sri Lanka get irrigation boost from ancient reservoirs? – IRIN

One way Sri Lanka can better manage its water resources in the face of changing monsoon patterns is through centuries-old water reservoirs, experts say.

Experts at the Colombo-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) say one way to ease fluctuating rice harvests (due to increasingly erratic monsoon seasons) is to use thousands of ancient small irrigation reservoirs spread out in the Northern, North Central, Eastern, North Western and Southern provinces. – http://www.irinnews.org/report/98503/could-sri-lanka-get-irrigation-boost-from-ancient-reservoirs

As extreme weather hits harvests, food buffers could help – Thomson Reuters Foundation

As extreme weather events keeping increasing in frequency, Sri Lanka’s harvest keeps fluctuating. Now experts say that the country should look at seriously using buffer stocks. “If you want to tackle this problem, then you have to change as fast as climate is changing, preferably faster,” said L.P. Rupasena, deputy director of research at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Training and Research Institute in Colombo. – http://www.trust.org/item/20130724100422-sv5zd/?source=hptop

Sri Lanka disaster stocks dangerously low – IRIN

Disaster relief stocks across Sri Lanka are dangerously low, experts and officials warn.

“There are gaps we need to fill, especially on stocks like tents and medicines that cannot be procured at short notice,” Sarath Lal Kumara, assistant director of the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), the main government body tasked with early warning and relief work, told IRIN.  – http://www.irinnews.org/report/98458/sri-lanka-disaster-stocks-dangerously-low

Need for better storm warnings in Sri Lanka – IRIN

There is a dire need inSri Lankafor an effective early warning system and building of public awareness on extreme weather events’ related alerts and warnings. The early warning mechanism that was set up after the 2004 tsunami is focused on issuing tsunami warnings and experts warn that erratic monsoon and frequent extreme weather events dictate similar attention should be paid to other natural hazards. http://www.irinnews.org/report/98346/need-for-better-storm-warnings-in-sri-lanka