Sri Lanka, being an island nation, is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Irreversible changes to ecosystems are already visible in many parts of the country. There is a dearth of scientific knowledge on climate change adaptation and mitigation options in Sri Lanka. In order to address this, Dilmah Conservation has established Sri Lanka’s first climate change research station at Dilmah Tea’s Queensbury Estate in Nawalapitiya.
Climate change presents multiple adverse socio-economic and environmental challenges that will culminate in catastrophic effects both locally and globally. Changes in rainfall patterns and temperatures are already contributing majorly to food insecurity. Tea plantations situated in Sri Lanka’s wet zone region are amongst the first places expected to be impacted by climate change.
Research conducted at the climate change centre at Dilamah’s Nawalapitiya Estate will focus not only on the tea sector, but also form a platform where leading experts on climate science can exchange ideas and contribute the climate change adaptation and mitigation in Sri Lanka.
Through the climate change centre Dilmah Tea hopes to create a self-sustaining institution that will utilize clean energy, environmentally friendly water treatment, and contribute to biodiversity enrichment, and public education and awareness.
key research areas:
The Dilmah Conservation Climate Change Advisory Committee comprises of the following distinguished individuals:
Public live weather feed from queensberry weather station.
Climate change and tea ecosystems research
Identifying crop management packages to increase the climate resilience of tea crops
Assessment of the impact of weather patterns and the terrain factors on tea Productivity
Dilmah Conservation will be releasing a booklet on how you can help fight climate change from home. Stay tuned!
Climate change and sustainability- Awareness raising and capacity building workshop series
Tropical rain forests and changing climate-Establishment of a permanent forest monitoring plot near Climate change center.
Introducing novel technologies for better conservation management of Agricultural landscape-Understanding landscapes’ capacity for resilience
The main objective is to facilitate local research on climate variability and its consequential effects on species, ecosystems and man-made systems such as large scale agricultural areas including tea plantations.
The specific objectives which are to be addressed in the short-term will be:
Dilmah’s Climate Change Research Station in Nawalapitiya played host to a group of 70 school children from the Craighead Tea- Estate school for a workshop aimed at educating students about climate change. The workshop was conducted in Tamil by Mr. Vasanthakumar from the Sri Lanka Meteorological department who discussed current climatic trends and how they have impacted Sri Lanka and outlined which mitigation and adaptation measures are available to us to combat climate change.
Name of the Principal collaborative party or organization: DC and FECT
(Foundation for Environment, Climate, and Technology)
Dr Lareef Zubair and FECT (Foundation for Environment, Climate, and Technology), with 20 years of experience researching Sri Lanka’s climate and its changes, are key architects of Dilmah Conservation’s climate monitoring initiatives. Their project aims to use climate data to model the changing climate’s impact on the tea sector in Sri Lanka, while compiling climate data that is freely accessible to researchers. As at now, the collaborative project has:
Name of the Principal collaborative party or organization:
Prof. Janendra De Costa - Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya
Prof. Devika De Costa - Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya
The broad objective of the above adaptive research programme is to introduce a crop management package to increase the resilience of tea crops to climate change and other biotic and abiotic stress factors. The overall management package has two components. One component focuses on the nursery stage and includes certain selected measures to produce a vigorous seedling for planting in the field. The second component focuses on introducing certain selected management practices in the field to improve the climate resilience/stress resilience of established tea crops.
Name of the Principal collaborative party or organization:
Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences, Faculty of Science
University of Colombo
The ultra-sensitivity of tea crop and its yield towards the climatic factors such as the increase in temperature, soil moisture deficit and saturation vapour pressure deficit in the low elevations are well proven over the past century. Hence the tea industry in Sri Lanka is clearly vulnerable to predicted climate changes, and greater economic, social and environmental problems. Which is why studying about effect of weather patterns and terrain factors on tea productivity has given a priority under our Climate change research center.
Capacity building and awareness raising has been identified as one of the key areas to be addressed under DCCCCRA portfolio. Hence a series of trainings/ workshops have been proposed aiming different levels of the available stakeholder network with the objective of “Raising awareness and concerns about climate change and promoting mitigation, strategies for adaptation and preparedness“. The specific goals of the proposed programme are further described as follows
This workshop series is designed in collaboration with Dr. Shiromani Jayawardana from Meteorology Department and Dr. B. V. R. Punyawardana from Department of Agriculture Sri Lanka. Its target audiences will be school students, and secontire officers in related government and non-governmental organizations.
The series will commence in September 2018