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International Workshop on Climate Change and Resource Security begins in Colombo

International Workshop on Climate Change and Resource Security begins in Colombo

[November 30 2017]

The International Workshop, "Climate Change and Resources Security: Challenges for Security and the Security Sector in South Asia", organized by the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) began at the Colombo Hilton, today (30th November 2017).

Attended the opening session as the Chief Guest, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC delivered the Keynote Address.

Making the keynote address, Secretary Waidyaratne emphasized the importance of the timely topic of the workshop at a time when the country is experiencing the ravages of an adverse weather condition. He said that the challenges and difficulties faced by South Asian countries are particularly severe. It is unlikely that climate change will be a direct cause of conflict. However, the impact of its consequences such as loss of land and livelihood has the potential to increase the risks of global instability and conflict, he added. In the Middle East and North Africa, climate change is said to act as a threat multiplier. Prosperity and stability in the region are intimately tied to its food and water resources. Climate change places a significant stress on such resources.

South Asia ranks high on lists of countries that are affected by climate change, but it is far from the only place where, scientists say global warming could change the fabric of society. In Sri Lanka, climate change related weather aberrations and resultant extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common. The country has suffered a substantial loss of lives and property due to natural disasters. This variability impacts the agriculture and energy sector as well, he noted.

As climate change is a crosscutting issue, it is important to reconsider national and regional policies in order to mitigate its effects. It is important to note that progress in international negotiations on climate change depends on domestic political support for cooperation, he further said.

The two day workshop is organized by the INSSSL in collaboration with the Centre for South Asian Studies and the Konrad- Adenauer- Stiftung.

The workshop focuses on the challenges and effects of climate change on national and regional security in South Asia, with particular emphasis on the role of the security sector. The workshop wants to contribute to an increased exchange of knowledge within the SAARC region.

An elite panel of distinguished subject experts, senior security sector related officials, think tanks from several countries, including the US and Europe is attending this event. The German Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E Jorn Rohde is among the panel of speakers.

Director General of the INSSSL, Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Director, Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change, Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung, Hong Kong SAR, Dr. Peter Hefele and Director, Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS), Dr. Nishchal Pandey were also present at the opening occasion.


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