Enhancing the National Capacity on Space Technology Applications for Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Early Warning, 17th - 21st February, Sri Lanka
ESCAP are implementing the Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning (the Drought Mechanism), which is the flagship program of the Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP) and the priority are highlighted by the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Applications of Space Technology and Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development, 2012-2017 (Asia-Pacific Plan of Action), in the overall context of building the agrarian economies of Asia and the Pacific region. The Mechanism envisages providing in-season satellite data, customized drought products and specialized capacity development training in order to enhance the knowledge and capacity of member countries for managing drought more efficiently.
Sri Lanka, as one of the pilot countries of the Drought Mechanism and the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action, requested ESCAP to enable overall capacity building on use of space technology for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) of ESCAP in collaboration with Arthur C Clerk Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), the nodal agency of Sri Lanka Government, conducted specialized training of “Space Technology Applications for Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Early Warning” for 30 key officials from Sri Lanka Government. This training was financially supported by the Government of Japan on implementation of the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action.
Experts from ESCAP, China, India, Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) delivered the one-week long training. Participants of Department of Irrigation, Department of Agrarian Development, Department of Agriculture, Mahawelli Development Authority Sri Lanka, Department of Meteorology, Water Resources Board, Disaster Management Centre, National Water Supply & Drainage Board, Census and Statistics department was trained on integrating the knowledge products and services emanating from the contemporary earth observation satellites into the operational drought management framework in the country. 10 districts over 25 districts of Sri Lanka were selected for using satellite-based data and products for drought monitoring in Maha and Yala seasons 2014-2015. Regional Service Node in India Space Research Organization (ISRO) will provide not only the historical satellite images regarding drought in Sri Lanka in 2012-2013, but also the seasonal observation information as well as training for capacity development. Meteorological satellite imagery and Monsoon seasonal forecasting information will be provided by China and RIMES to Sri Lanka.
At the end of the training, the Activity Plan for 2014-2015 and work distribution have been developed towards the operationalization of the drought mechanism and enhancing the national capacity on space technology applications for effective agricultural drought monitoring and early warning in Sri Lanka.
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