Sri Lanka told future ADB aid to be ‘climate-proofed’

COLOMBO, Nov 26, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Future Asian Development Bank support to Sri Lanka will have ‘climate resilient’ aspects to ensure the island is better able to withstand the effects of climate change, a senior official said.

Climate change could retard Sri Lanka’s economic growth, affecting agricultural production for both domestic consumption and exports, a new ADB study shows.

"The country may be growing quite well – at 7.5 percent – but the impact on economic growth of climate change is quite significant," said Bindu Lohani, the ADB’s Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.

"So it’s important from a long term point of view to mitigate the impact of climate change and to adapt."

The island will be affected by rising sea levels while agriculture will be hit by changes in rainfall which could also worsen health problems, he told a news conference Wednesday.

"Our assessment shows that, because of climate change impacts, Sri Lanka could lose up to 1.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product every by 2050," Lohani said.

"The ADB will help by making future infrastructure investment climate resilient," he said.
"We will screen all infrastructure projects to ensure they survive the impact of climate change. The ADB will provide both resources and knowledge."

Mahfuz Ahmed, an ADB advisor who did the study, said climate change impacts could reduce rice and tea crops.

The island could also have a water deficit of 25 billion cubic metres in 2030.





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