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Thursday December 7th, 2023

Rough weather in Sri Lanka claims three lives

Sinharaja forest/Rainforest Protectors Trust

ECONOMYNEXT – Three deaths have been reported due to prevailing weather conditions in Sri Lanka with the onset of the southwest monsoon. Heavy rains are expected to continue in the Western, Southern provinces and the southwest parts of the country, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) officials said.

Due to the heavy rains that occurred in the past few days, the DMC said, disaster situations were reported in Rathuwala, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna, Galle and Kandy areas, with three deaths reported in the Nuwara Eliya district.

Several families have been relocated due to flood and landslide warnings in these areas.

DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili said, so far, 25 property damages have been reported while assessments are continuing.

Kodippili said, due to the heavy rains, several roads in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Matara districts have been closed and the public advised to use alternative routes.

According to the Meteorology Department, In the 24 hours until 8.30 am on Tuesday August 02, Sri Palabadda, Kudawa, Dikoyawatte, Gilliemale and Derangala in Ratnapura, Matara and Nuwara Eliya districts recorded more than 100mm of rainfall.

Hydrology and Disaster Management Centre of the Irrigation Department said by Tuesday morning, minor floods were seen in Thalgahagoda, Panadugama, and Ratnapura areas due to water levels rising in Kalu and Nilwala rivers.

Kodippili said water levels of several rivers are rising due to the continuous rain.

“Dam doors of Lakshapana, Kukule ganga, Canyon and Polgoda reservoirs have been opened. People in low-lying areas must be vigilant of possible flood situations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department has issued red notices for naval and fishing communities as heavy rains due to the southwest monsoon are expected to continue.

“From Puttalam to Colombo, Galle and Hambantota via Potuvil, wind speeds can increase upto 70 kilometres per hour and seas can be extremely rough,” the Met Department said.

The department said shallow sea areas from Puttalam to Mannar via Kankesanthurai can be rough from time to time withs wind speeds increasing up to 60 kilometres per hour.

With the prevailing rains expected to continue, the Met Department said, naval communities are advised not to venture out to sea areas from Puttalam to Colombo, Galle and Hambantota via Pottuvil until further notice.

In inland areas, heavy rains can be expected in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Northern and North Western provinces exceeding 100mm and winds exceeding 50 kilometres per hour can also be expected, it said.

Officials ask the public to be vigilant of possible natural disasters and to contact 117 for any emergencies. (Colombo/Aug02/2022)


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COP28 sees new era for climate action with $57 bln pledge; Sri Lanka’s proposals need approval

ECONOMYNEXT – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has witnessed governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropies announcing support of over $57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the global event with eight pledges and declarations receiving historic support.

After a historic deal to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on the first day, announcements have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy.

On climate finance, the COP28 host United Arab Emirates launched a $30 billion catalytic fund, ALTÉRRA, with an emphasis on unlocking private finance across the Global South.

The host nation also has announced $200 million for SDRs and $150 million for water scarcity.

The World Bank has announced an increase of $9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, while the first two days of COP28 saw $725 million in pledges after a historic response to loss and damage was operationalized.

Eight new declarations have been announced which are expected to help transform every major system of the global economy.

These include the first ever declarations on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, as well as initiatives to decarbonize heavy emitting industries.

The eight declarations are:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge has been endorsed by 119 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate has received endorsements from 137 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health has been endorsed by 125 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace has been endorsed by 74 countries and 40 organizations.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance has been endorsed by 12 countries.
  • The Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge has been endorsed by 64 countries.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has been endorsed by 51 companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production.
  • The Industrial Transition Accelerator has been endorsed by 35 companies and six industry associations, including World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, International Air Transport Association.

Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender. The number of countries supporting these declarations and pledges is growing and demonstrates an unprecedented level of inclusivity at this COP.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced three new proposals: Climate Justice Forum (CJF), Tropical Belt Initiative (TBI), and International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka.

However, the proposals are yet to get approval from the general UN body though the island nation’s authorities expect wide support for the moves.

“What we have done is to talk to countries about the initiatives and launch them. Next step is for them to be formally recognized by the main body,” Ruwan Wijewardena, the Senior Advisor to President Wickremesinghe on Climate change, told Economy Next.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

  • Loss and Damage: $725 million
  • Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)
  • Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion
  • Technology: $568 million
  • Methane: $1.2 billion
  • Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)
  • Food: $2.6 Billion
  • Nature: $2.6 Billion
  • Health: $2.7 billion
  • Water: $150 million
  • Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion
  • Local Climate Action: $467 million (Dubai/Dec 6/2023)
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Sri Lanka to start international tourism branding campaign

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will soon start a tourism international marketing campaign under the theme ‘You will come back for more,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

“We have not had a branding campaign for 15 years,” Fernando told parliament. “A campaign has been developed by Ogilvy.

“It will help us reach the target of 2.3 million tourists next year.”

This year Sri Lanka is expecting a 1.5 million tourists with close to 1.3 million reached by November.

About 6,000 tourists are now coming each day, at the moment he said.

On December 10, three cruise ships are due. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)

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Sri Lanka 3-month Treasuries yields fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasury bill yields eased across maturities with the tree month yield falling 19 basis points to 14.67 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

A total of 185 billion rupees in bills were sold, with sharply lower than offered volumes in 12-months sold.

The debt office offered 55 billion rupees of 3 -month bills and sold 87 billion.

92 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold after offering 60 billion at 14.38 percent down 14 basis points.

Only 5.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold after offering 70 billion rupees, at 12.88 percent, down 01 basis point. (Colombo/Dec06/2023)

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