Achieving Disaster Resilience through the Sri Lankan Early Warning System: Good Practises of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (2014)

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A case study report of the good practices of the Sri Lankan Early Warning System (EWS) was prepared for the ANDROID Disaster Resilience Network funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. The objective was to highlight good practices, identify gaps and useful recommendations (within an up-to-date and comprehensive context) to achieve disaster resilient governance. The EWS components; Infrastructure, Risk Knowledge (i.e. Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment), Preparedness and Early Warning Dissemination, Disaster Response and Coordination were scrutinised. These components were compared against the exemplary structure of a people-centred EWS to assess its efficacy in achieving disaster resilience. Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was the first contemporary large-scale disaster faced by Sri Lanka, it lacked the legislative framework and institutional capacity to respond and only thereafter the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was observed. The importance of training was demonstrated within risk knowledge, preparedness and early warning dissemination, and disaster response and coordination. Thereby training is considered crucial in achieving a progressive, people-centred EWS. However it can be consolidated through joint resource utilisation (particularly personnel) between organisations and creating a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certification system. There has been considerable progress in integrating DRR into development at all levels, which is a key measure in achieving disaster resilience. It was notably observed in achieving disaster resilient development, climate change adaptation and DRR was integrated despite a general tendency to be polarised in other areas. Despite some existing projects there is a need for greater government and private sector engagement in ecosystem-based DRR. Finally to achieve a disaster resilient Sri Lankan EWS, risk transfer measures require further evaluation. The emergence of some disaster risk financing and insurance is observed but issues, such as assuring applicability to a local context and scientific, evidence-based underpinning, need to be addressed.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: Procedia Economics and Finance, 18 (0): 789-794 p.

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