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Innovate and Mitigate: Emerging Solutions for Climate Resilience in South Asia

May 23, 2022




JOIN US ON MONDAY, MAY 23, 8 AM ET TO EXPLORE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR BUILDING CLIMATE RESILIENCE IN SOUTH ASIA.  This event does not require pre-registration, just visit the event page for the live stream.


  • About the Event:     Our 11th OneSouthAsia Conversation will focus on ways South Asian countries can leverage innovation and technologies to build climate resilience and collaborative cross-border solutions. It  will bring together leading voices on climate resilience and innovators from the region, who are delivering emerging solutions to deal with climate change challenges, and environmetal threats. 

    The event is a part of a bi-monthly series organized by the World Bank's South Asia Regional Integration and Engagement Program (SARRE). The series explores ideas for regional cooperation in economic connectivity, climate resilience, and human development.

    Background on climate and disaster resilience: South Asia is among the most vulnerable regions to climate risks.  More than half of all South Asians, or 750 million people, were affected by one or more climate-related disasters in the last two decades.  The primary climate-related risks in the region are flood damages, food and water insecurity, and rising temperatures. The changing climate could sharply diminish living conditions for up to 800 million people in a region that already has some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. Given the vulnerabilities, South Asian countries need to leverage collaborations, partnerships, and immense potential of innovation and technologies for tackle climate change challenges and build resilience. 

    The SARRE Program and the Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia Project are supporting innovative and disruptive technology solutions through the TechEmerge Resilience India Program, and the Climate Innovation Challenge- both initiatives are funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).  A few examples of these solutions include a wifi-connected community radio that provides information and early warnings on disasters in rural areas of India; a mobile-based application that crowd-sources data on coastal erosion and flooding in the Maldives; and drones for surveillance and mapping for disaster preparedness. 

    TechEmerge India Resilience Program

    The TechEmerge Resilience Program in India is a partnership of the World Bank, IFC, the Consumer Technology Association, and the Government of India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).  Seven pilots are underway to strengthen disaster resilience in the time of COVID-19, leveraging AI, drones, Internet of Things (IoT), as well as wifi-connected radios to ensure information access to remote communities. The innovators—competitively selected from a field of more than 300 applicants worldwide—are conducting field tests in partnership with National and State Disaster Management Authorities. The innovators have access to a total pool of $1 million in grant funding for pilot implementation, cloud credits, and technical assistance from IBM, and technical and advisory support from the World Bank. 

    Climate Innovation Challenge

    The World Bank's Climate Innovation Challenge is being implemented in partnership with Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) where 16 innovations from around the world have been selected for their disruptive and cutting-edge technologies to build communities’ resilience against the threat of climate change in South Asia. From the IoT and deep-learning model to automatized land-use, smart farming, and digital systems for decision support in climate information and analytics, the winning solutions are all aimed at meeting the needs of the target countries’ most vulnerable sectors including agriculture, water and transportation.

    Both Climate Innovation Challenge and TechEmerge India Resilience Program are implemented by ADPC under the Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CARE) for South Asia project. The two challenges are supported by the Program for Asia Resilience to Climate Change (PARCC)—a trust fund administered by the World Bank and funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).



    Abid Omar

    Founder, Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI)

    Abid Omar is the founder of Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI), a community- driven initiative to crowdsource air quality data in Pakistan. The data points were compiled by AirVisual, a crowd-sourced online air quality monitor that compares countries around the world. PAQI has also been the drive behind the “ Scary Mom” movement in Pakistan, a growing wave of clean-air activists, environmental lawyers, tech entrepreneurs, who are using new sources of pollution data to pressure the government to take action.


    Anil Pokhrel

    Chief Executive, National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Authority, Nepal

    Anil Pokhrel is Government of Nepal’s first chief executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority. In his capacity, he designs and oversees the organizational structure, standard operating procedures, and develops the overall work program for NDRRMA. Pokhrel also serves as the member secretary for both the National Council and National Executive Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. During major disasters, he serves as the “ incident commander” for Nepal's Emergency Operations Centre and is also the resource manager for overall disaster risk reduction and management investment in the country.


    Kunal Prasad

    Co-Founder, Cropin

    Kunal Prasad is the co-founder and chief operating officer at Cropin, an Agtech pioneer building the first global Intelligent Agriculture Cloud. He works to reimagine agriculture, leveraging digitization, and artificial intelligence at scale. He firmly believes in the power of data-driven farming to increase per acre value and improve outcomes for farmers and every other stakeholder in the agriculture ecosystem. CropIn Technology is among the World Bank-supported Climate Innovation Challenge winners, where their team will deploy SmartFarm, a tailored advisory dissemination system using an information and communication technology platform with mobile and web interfaces. The platform would enable smallholder farmers to access knowledge and information on sustainable best practices as well as curated, timely, and automated weather advisories in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


    Vindya J Wijesinghe

    Innovation Officer, National Innovation Agency, Sri Lanka

    Vindya Wijesinhe is an innovation officer at Sri Lanka’s National Innovation Agency and her work focuses on innovations for climate, environmental and disaster resilience. In her capacity, Vindya is working to establish Sri Lanka’s first centralized observatory and also cost weather stations across the country that can provide improved weather data services, and early disaster risk warnings for greater resilience. Vindya Wijesinhe is an innovation officer at Sri Lanka’s National Innovation Agency and her work focuses on innovations for climate, environmental and disaster resilience under the Eco Innovation pillar of NIA. In her capacity, Vindya is working to establish Sri Lanka's centralized public observatory and cost effective weather stations across the country that can provide improved weather data services, and early disaster risk warnings for greater resilience.



    Cecile Fruman

    Director, Regional Integration and Engagement, South Asia, World Bank

    Cecile Fruman is Director, Regional Integration and Engagement in the South Asia Region (SAR). She is responsible for fostering collaborative activities amongst SAR countries and managing partnerships and engagements with SAR and global development partners.

  • More about #OneSouthAsia Conversation

    Our #OneSouthAsia conversation is a part of an ongoing bi-monthly series that explores ideas for regional cooperation in economic connectivity, climate change, and human development in South Asia.  The online conversation will broadcast on the World Bank Group channels, and is a public event, which does not require pre-registration. The event is targeted toward a mixed audience including policy makers, regional influencers and stakeholders, academic institutes, civil society organizations, private sector, and the general population in South Asia.

    Examples of Previous #OneSouthAsia Conversations:


    Connecting across Borders: South Asia's Digital Opportunity

    Toward a Green, Clean and Energy-Secure South Asia

    Path to Recovery: Embracing Intraregional Investments In South Asia

    Pivoting in a Pandemic: Women Entrepreneurs Tap Regional Opportunities

    Turning the Tide on Marine Plastics in South Asia

    Breathing Uneasy: Regional Response to Air Pollution in South Asia

    Harnessing Technology to Build Human Capital in South Asia


  • WHEN: : Monday, May 23, 8 am ET
  • WHERE: : Visit this event page for livestream
  • Social Media Tags: #OneSouthAsia, #ClimateChange, #ClimateResilience, #ClimateInnovation