Mere rise in temperature will reduce S. Asian crop yield, warns
A mere rise in two to three degrees Celsius temperature would reduce
30 to 40 per cent of the crop yield in the South Asian region, British
High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Dr. Peter Hayes warned recently.
Dr Hayes, scientist turned diplomat addressing participants at the
concluding event of 'Climate Positive Action' project explained the
hazards of climate change due to the global warming and his country's
commitment in the fight against the emissions of Green House Gases(GHG)
which is said to be the root cause of global warming.
According to Dr. Hayes, the sea level rise due to global warming
would be detrimental for millions who live in low lying areas close to
"These are according to the most moderate predictions," he emphasised.
Extreme weather events like heavy down pours, tornados, floods, El-ninos,
landslides etc. would be rampant around the globe. "That's why Britain
and the European Union take a leading role in the fight against climate
He emphasised the importance of political leadership in the fight
against global warming.
"This is a global problem. We can't work in isolation. Caring for
your city or village alone would not solve the problem," he reiterated.
The High Commissioner also highlighted opportunities created by the
climate change. Referring to the emissions' free clean energy
requirements, Dr. Hayes noted: "It has at the same time created a
trillion dollar business."
He praised Sri Lanka's beauty. "Sri Lanka has an extraordinary
beauty." However, he said it would be easily lost "if these resources
are over exploited."
Referring to the project showcase where the selected project
proposals have been displayed, the High Commissioner said opportunities
had been now created for the rural people to find donors and potential
investors. "This shows that they are not powerless in their fight
against global warming."
"The temperature in London during this winter was unusually high as
18 degrees Celsius," Philip Rylah, Country Examination Manager of the
British Council said. Attributing it as a possible effect of the climate
change, he revealed that climate change is one of the programme areas of
the British Council, apart from the intercultural dialogue and
The British Council studies the issue of Climate Change and builds up
networks to work together to mitigate effects of global warming, he
Dr. Nimal Perera, technical consultant of the project introducing the
project and its outcomes emphasised the need to change lifestyles of the
people to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.
"If you turned to locally available fresh liquid milk instead of
powdered milk, you will be saving energy; preventing large amount of
fossil fuel from burning in the processing and the transport of the
powdered milk," he explained.
He said that life style changes would reduce the emissions of gasses
such as CO2 mitigating the effects of climate change. Dr. Perera noted
that through the project students, teachers, farmers, etc. in rural
areas in nine districts were educated on climate changes and its hazards
such as heavy rains, long droughts, flash floods and landslides.
He noted that the project also assisted them to change their
lifestyles and come up with alternative methods to reduce their
vulnerability to the hazards such as long prevailing droughts or heavy
rains at their homes, villages, schools and work places thus resulting
in overall reduction in the emissions of green house gasses to the
He said participants in the progarmme came out with these alternative
methods in the form of project proposals.
Thirty three out of 35 proposals had been showcased to potential
investors, donors agencies, banks and NGOs and INGOs, he said.
Dr. Anura Jayatilake, Director of the Climate Change and Global
Affairs Division of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
The project was organised by the British Council, funded by the
British High Commission and in technical partnership with the Chambers
of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka.