NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Climate Resilient Action Plans for Coastal Urban Areas [NDF C3 C9]

The project aims enhance the overall resilience of stakeholders to climate change in costal Sri Lankan cities.

Sri Lanka
Climate Resilient Action Plans for Coastal Urban Areas
Ref: NDF C3 C9

Nordic Partner: Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
Local Partner: University of Moratuwa
Other Partners: UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Batticaloa Municipal Council, and Negombo Municipal Council
Total Project Cost: EUR 605,080
NCF Financing: EUR 455,000
Agreement Signed: 19 September 2011
Project Classification: Adaptation/ Urban Adaptation
Duration: 24 Months (completed - some final reporting under review)

Project Objective

The project aimed to enhance the overall resilience of stakeholders to climate change in costal Sri Lankan cities. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to raise awareness for climate change adaptation options and build response capacity on all administrative levels (communal, provincial and national) as well as among the vulnerable population.


The project combined scientific and technical components, spatial planning approaches, training and education modules, and used a broad variety of participatory methods - from focus group meetings to national consultations. The project included four outputs:

1. Development and implementation, through a participatory approach, of Climate Resilient Adaptation Strategies and supporting Action Plans (CRASAP) for Batticaloa Municipal Council and Negonbo Municipal Council.

2. Documentation of the CRASAPs, validation of the experiences with stakeholders in BMC and NMC and then sharing the experiences on provincial and national level.

3. Preparation of a National Statement on Climate Resilient Cities (NSCRS) with recommendations that were broadly disseminated and mainstreamed into local and national level within Sri Lanka as well as internationally by using the UN-Habitat network and international conferences.

4. Development and implementation of CRASAP Training of Trainers to build capacity in 7 replication cities.

The project developed four climate resilient adaptation strategies and supportive action plans in a participatory manner. The 4 CRASAPs under this project are:

a. Water resource management, and especially drainage and sanitation impacts during intense rainfall events

b. Multi-purpose green belt (12km) established to protect the lagoon and coastal areas, to restore mangrove eco-systems & coastal bio-diversity in the Batticaloa area;

c. GIS-based Rapid Response Systems (RRS) & Knowledge Management centers for climate exacerbated disasters with a training program; and

d. Disaster resilient; energy efficient; low-cost shelter adaptation training, supported by local resource-based livelihood diversifications options for 100 participants living in vulnerable areas.


The design developed by University of Moratuwa in the project will be implemented in Thiruchchendur in an UN-HABITAT Disaster Risk Reduction project funded by AUSAID.

In the second period the team carried out an interschool competition with the intention to train and provoke the creation of innovative ideas on climate resilient practices by school students. The final period was dedicated to dissemination activities including a workshop for sharing the experiences with stakeholders from national and provincial level. A “National Statement on Climate Resilient Cities” was elaborated and discussed with representatives from different Ministries. The used approaches and results were summarized into a Training of Trainers manual used to train municipal officers from 7 replication cities in Sri Lanka.

Relevance for Climate Change

70% of Sri Lanka’s urban population and 80% of its economic infrastructure networks are concentrated in coastal cities, which are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts (sea-level rise/flooding, salination of water resources, storm surges, cyclones, droughts) which disproportionately affect poor urban communities forced to live in the most vulnerable areas. The project has: i) increased the resilience of vulnerable population, ii) improved local living conditions, enhanced flood protections, restored costal eco-systems and sequestrated CO2, iii) built capacity for climate change adaptation options in communal public administration, iv) raised awareness to climate change adaptation options on communal, provincial and national level.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The project has supported the development and implementation of the first detailed CRASAPs in the Sri Lanka. In addition, the participatory approach to vulnerability and adaptation assessments and subsequent strategy development has increased local stakeholders’ awareness about climate change in coastal Sri Lanka. Capacity building of local stakeholders at all levels (communal, provincial and national) has also increased community resilience and helped create sustainable solutions in the long-run. The used approaches can easily be up-scaled to other Sri Lankan cities as well as abroad.

More information

Norwegian Institute for Water Research
University of Moratuwa
Climate resilient action Plans for Coastal urban areas of Sri Lanka 
Multipurpose Green belt site Design Part II  
Batticaloa Municipal Council