Homegrown Solutions to Climate Change in Sri Lanka Receive Grants from World Bank

May 11, 2010

Batticaloa, May 11, 2010: Five civil society organizations from across Sri Lanka today won grants of LKR 1 million (US$ 10,000) each, to implement homegrown solutions to climate change in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka.

The program titled “Development and Climate Change – Building Community Resilience in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka” is funded by the World Bank Civil Society Fund (CSF) 2010, and is a joint initiative of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

This year’s program has provided an opportunity for the World Bank, IFC and IWMI to directly interact and support innovative grassroots initiatives to address issues related to adaptation and mitigation of Climate Change. The grant recipients will aim to strengthen sustainable agricultural practices at the household level, water management and solid waste management.

“Addressing water scarcity in the Dry Zone area of Sri Lanka is an enormous challenge,” said Naoko Ishii, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. “I congratulate the winners and am particularly happy to note that these initiatives - mostly from the north and east - have the potential to make a real difference to the communities.”

The goal of the Civil Society Fund (CSF) is to empower and enable citizens to take initiatives to enhance and influence development outcomes. This year’s theme for CSF compliments the flagship publication of the World Bank – World Development Report 2010 titled Development and Climate Change.

IFC was engaged in evaluating the proposals from civil society organizations and will continue to mentor the winners as they implement these projects. The knowledge and experience in agriculture and climate change adaptation work of the IFC will be available to grantees should they have a need for specific advice.

“IFC places high priority on addressing climate change impacts and works closely with the private sector in adopting climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives. Collaboration with the World Bank, IWMI and civil society organizations will help push this agenda forward meaningfully,” said Mr. Karma, Head of IFC Advisory Services for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

IWMI contributed to the process of selecting the winners of this year’s grant competition. They will remain engaged providing advice to the grantees throughout the year long project.

“IWMI’s research in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka reveals the magnitude of implications of climate change, but the good news is that local farmers have appropriate solutions to overcome some of the challenges they are faced with,” said Mr. K. Jinapala, a researcher working on IWMI’s Sri Lanka Program. “Support for these efforts made by local communities to plan and implement their own solutions to specific challenges in their areas will create an innovative model for replication in other parts of the dry zone."

This year’s recipients are:

- Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in Batticaloa in collaboration with:

- Rainwater - Harvesting Forum - to implement and design rainwater harvesting, water retention techniques and water management plans in Karadiyanaru village in Batticaloa District.

- Grassroots Foundation– to implement a model project promoting organic farming, integrated water resources management and networking to engage youth with community groups to share knowledge through social media with the aim of replicating the model in other villages.

- Institute of Agro-technology and Rural Sciences - to disseminate knowledge and information based on an already tried and tested model for the development of agriculture productivity from the Southern region to the Northern region of Sri Lanka.

- Social Welfare, Economical and Environmental Developers Foundation (SWEEDF) - to improve the water retention capacity through minimized tapping of underground water for agricultural purposes through community engagement.

- Trincomalee District Development Association (TDDA) - will support 50 farmer families in Athiyammankeny in Trincomalee district to improve their livelihood through home gardening. They will also collaborate with the Agriculture Department in Trincomalee to share knowledge and lessons on effective agriculture practices.

The Fund has been in operation since 2005 and was formally known as the Small Grants program. Over this period under themes of Social Accountability, Youth Development, Disability, Reconciliation for Development and Advocacy for Accountability in Local Service Delivery the Civil Society Fund program in Sri Lanka has supported innovative initiatives where marginalized community groups have engaged in community development.


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