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The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in Djibouti on 20 May and Sri Lanka on 21 May 2018.

In Djibouti, tropical cyclone Sagar caused flash floods across the country, impacting up to 30,000 people according to authorities. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research's (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT)... read more

Publishing Date: 22/05/2018

At the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) follow-up activity to Sri Lanka to understand long-term capacity building needs and discuss joint activities in next three to five years.

As a part of this TAM follow up mission, a one day workshop was organized under the guidance of MoDM on 22 March 2018. About 30 representatives (high-level officials) from the following stakeholder organisations attended the meeting: MoDM, Disaster Management Center (DMC), National Disaster Relief Services Center (NDRSC), Department of... read more

Publishing Date: 09/04/2018

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka has become an Authorized User (AU) of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

In 2005, DMC was established to act as the main organization for planning, coordination, and execution of natural and other forms of disasters. Among the fundamental functions of DMC is to assist and take responsibility in planning and implementing the national disaster management plan and the national emergency operation plan.

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters has been operating since... read more

Publishing Date: 08/03/2018
MOBILISE workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

UN-SPIDER has been invited to participate in a workshop and conference organized by the MOBILISE project in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The project, conducted in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia, brings together academic institutions from the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia as well as government agencies involved in disaster risk reduction and emergency... read more

Publishing Date: 27/02/2018
Drought in Sri Lanka in 2012.

The ongoing drought in Sri Lanka, believed to be the worst in 40 years, began towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 with abnormally low soil moisture in Northern Sri Lanka and India’s Tamil Nadu state. At the beginning of this month, the number of people affected by the drought exceeded two million.

Drought is not a novel phenomenon in Sril Lanka, but what makes the current episode unique is its intensity, severity and persistence, similar to the drought episodes in 2012 and 2014. Kurunegala District in the North Western Province is one of the areas that has experienced devastating effects of drought ranging from reduction of water supplies for crop irrigation to nearly empty reservoirs, with significant impacts on livelihoods. The effects of the drought have also undermined the country’s rice- based food system.

Relevant and... read more

Publishing Date: 19/09/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Report on Mapping Multiple Climate-related Hazards in South Asia

Countries experience multiple climate-related risks that vary spatially and in time, with the combined impact of such risks carrying severe consequences for the population. A new collaborative research study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) identifies the need to carry out regional level assessments of these risks in South Asia.

The IWMI Research Report 170 suggests methods for mapping such climate-related risks and estimating their subsequent impacts. Space-based information is a key component in this context and supports efforts to estimate the impact on people and agriculture in South Asia.

... read more
Publishing Date: 04/07/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Kelani river during floods in Sri Lanka, May 2017

Due to the heavy... read more

Publishing Date: 30/05/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
UN-SPIDER and  DMC  training workshop in Sri Lanka

The Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka and UN-SPIDER began a three-day training workshop in Colombo to enhance the use of the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal. The training workshop will cover different sections of the Portal and will include an in-depth training on the Recommended Practices developed for floods and droughts. The trianing workshop brings together professional staff from the Disaster Management Centre,Ministry of Health, the Survey Department, the Census and Statistics Department, the National Aquatic Resources Agency, the University of Colombo, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lankan Army. Navy and Air Force, the Mahaweli Authority, the Coast Conservation Department, and the Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Modern Technology.

The training workshop will support the efforts conducted by the Disaster Management Centre in the areas of flood rapid mapping... read more

Publishing Date: 26/04/2017
The workshop is focusing on coastal hazard assessment

Today, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) opened their training workshop "Coastal Hazard Assessment: Applications in Risk Assessment, Management and... read more

Publishing Date: 02/06/2015
The new agreement is aimed to provide assistance to all Saarc member states affected by disasters (Image: Krish Dulal)

An agreement signed by all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and India) is underway to promote a rapid response to natural disasters.

A Saarc monitoring system including tools for early warning system and risk... read more

Publishing Date: 29/04/2015
Floods in Sri Lanka (Image: Flickr/Ranveig)

New Mobile Weather Stations, designed by scientists at the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute, capture and transmit near real-time data on rainfall, helping raise the alarm when rains reach a certain level of intensity. The new Mobile Weather Stations are equipped with an atomic clock to give precise time and date readings, and a GPS sensor, which updates automatically if they are moved. A system is also being developed for connecting them to Sri Lanka’s mobile phone network to transfer the data.

Sri Lanka regularly experiences variations in weather – especially rainfall – over short distances. This makes it very difficult to accurately predict natural hazards like floods and landslides. To do so, one would have to significantly increase the number of weather stations,... read more

Publishing Date: 24/02/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

On 5 February 2015, on the occasion of the 6th annual meeting of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices (RSOs) in Vienna, UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, signed a memorandum of understanding, making IWMI the 17th member of UN-SPIDER's network of RSOs. The memorandum was signed by UNOOSA's director Simonetta Di Pippo on behalf of UNOOSA and Dr Giriraj Amarnath on behalf of IWMI.

Simonetta Di Pippo stressed the importance of the RSOs for UN-SPIDER's work: "I see the RSO network as a key component of the programme and even more so in the future." She also pointed out that she was hopeful that other organizations would join the network soon.

IWMI is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. It is... read more

Publishing Date: 05/02/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Participants of the workshop

As a follow up to the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Sri Lanka in 2011, a national workshop and training programme on “Earth Observation Technologies for Flood Risk Mapping, Modelling and Management” was held from 17 to 21 November 2014. The activity was jointly realised by UN-SPIDER, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of the Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM), and ... read more

Publishing Date: 25/11/2014
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Sri Lanka seen from space (Image: ESA)

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 30 October 2014 to provide satellite-based emergency maps in the context of a massive landslide in Sri Lanka. The mechanism was activated by the Asia Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC). The project management will be handled by the Asian Institute of Technology.

Monsoon rains in Sri Lanka caused a landslide on 29 October 2014, which is believed to have... read more

Publishing Date: 31/10/2014
Sri Lanka is often affected by heavy precipitation and floods.

As a follow up of the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Sri Lanka in October 2011, UN-SPIDER organised the training “Space Technology for Improving Hazard Mapping in Sri Lanka” from 14 to 17 August 2012. A second follow up training programme is scheduled from 17 to 21 November 2014.

To support the implementation of recommendations of the TAM, UN-SPIDER has organized this national programme to move forward with the specific recommendations of the TAM. The workshop and training programme “Earth observation technologies for flood risk... read more

Publishing Date: 29/09/2014
Accumulated rainfall in mm for the period 31 May - 4 June 2014

Data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) revealed extraordinary flooding in Sri Lanka caused by unusually strong monsoonal rainfall over the period 31 May - 4 June 2014, as research at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) shows.

The heavy monsoon precipitation occurred mainly in the Western and Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Massive flooding was reported in the districts of Kalutara, Ratnapura and in parts of Colombo, Galle and Matara. The accumulated rainfall was about 4 to 6 times as high as compared to the rainfall in the same period in 2013. For example, the Kalutara district received an average accumulated rainfall of 303mm from 31 May to 4 June 2014 -... read more

Publishing Date: 16/06/2014
Approval to build the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)

Recognizing geospatial information as an essential resource that supports the economic, social and environmental interests, the Survey Department of Sri Lanka has recently received a Cabinet approval to build the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The goal is to provide and integrate geographically-referenced data and make it easily accessible in a user-friendly online portal.

An initial step is first to draft the policies, procedures and data standards necessary to... read more

Publishing Date: 12/12/2013
The coasts of Sri Lanka and India showing sediments left after a tsunami

With the support of UNESCAP, UNESCO-IOC is carrying out a project entitled: “Enhancing Tsunami Risk Assessment and Management, Strengthening Policy Support and Developing Guidelines for Tsunami Exercises in Indian Ocean Countries”. This project will support the efforts of the ICG/IOTWS Working Group 1 on Tsunami Risk Assessment and Reduction and Working Group 3 on Tsunami Awareness and Response.

As part of the activities contemplated in this project, UN-SPIDER has been invited to contribute to the revision and update of the IOC Guidelines on “Tsunami Risk Assessment and... read more

Publishing Date: 01/03/2013
RiskInfo makes available data and maps on disaster risks in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a country affected by a variety of hazards including Drought, Flood, Mass Movement, Severe Storm or Tsunami. In order to make information on disaster risks in Sri Lanka more easily available, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) in partnership with UNDP, NGOs and GDFRR Labs launched the Sri Lanka Disaster Risk Information Platform (RiskInfo).

The purpose of RiskInfo is to make disaster risk information available to all the stakeholders and the public in order to facilitate disaster risk reduction and... read more

Publishing Date: 01/03/2013

From 14 to 17 of August 2012, UN-SPIDER conducted the Capacity Building Programme “Space Technology for Improving Hazard Mapping in Sri Lanka”, as a follow-up to the Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) that took place in Sri Lanka in October 2011. The expert team had enlisted in their TAM report a number of recommendations to the Government to strengthen... read more

Publishing Date: 24/08/2012

The Sri Lankan Disaster Management Centre (DMC) will release the latest hazard maps in December. This activity is carried out with the UNDP funding and implemented with the support of relevant technical agencies such as UN-SPIDER, which organizes a training program from the 14th till the 17th of August.

... read more
Publishing Date: 03/08/2012

As a follow-up to a UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Sri Lanka in October 2011, UN-SPIDER and the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka are organizing a Capacity Building event from 14-17 August 2012. Supported by the Uwa-Wellassa University of Sri Lanka, the United Nations Development Programme Sri Lanka and the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China, the event will focus on space technology and its applications to... read more

Publishing Date: 24/07/2012

At the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, UN-SPIDER planned the Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Sri Lanka from 17 to 21 October 2011. A team of experts will meet with key disaster management authorities in the Government, UN agencies, regional and international organizations and initiatives, as well as private entrepreneurs to discuss, make recommendations and develop guidelines to improve the use of space-based information in disaster management.

Experts from a wide range of organizations will be joining the UN-SPIDER team to participate in the TAM, including representatives from a university, research institutions and space agencies. The National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC), the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan (... read more

Publishing Date: 02/09/2011
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

Sri Lanka is to hold a training workshop for the people involved in disaster management to learn how to utilize the WEB-GIS technology and space based technology to support disaster management activity.

Sri Lanka will hold the 5th Sentinel Asia System Operation Training in Colombo from 22nd to 26th February 2010 with technical support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).Sentinel Asia is a voluntary basis initiative led by the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) to support disaster management activity in the Asia-Pacific region by applying the WEB-GIS technology and space based technology, such as... read more

Publishing Date: 19/02/2010

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