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Sri Lankan Winners and exciting news: #StoriesfromLKA photo contest!

Tashaya Anuki Premachandra's picture

The three winning pictures of the online campaign #StoriesfromLKA

World Bank Sri Lanka launched an online campaign titled #StoriesfromLKA during the month of June celebrating World Environment day “Connecting People to Nature”. The campaign included online interactions to learn about World Bank operations related to the environment and a photo competition to appreciate the natural beauty of Sri Lanka that needs to be preserved while Sri Lanka pursues a development drive.
This competition began on the 21st of June and aimed at showcasing the many talented photographers from Sri Lanka as well as celebrating the rich flora and fauna of the country. After the contest ended on June 30th, 167 entries were shortlisted. We asked you which photos were your favorites and you voted on your selections through social media. Your votes helped us narrow down the top three winners, here they are:

Twitter chat: Economic benefits of environment management in Sri Lanka

Ralph van Doorn's picture

Join us for #SLDU2017: Economic Benefits of Environment Management. This Twitter chat will be hosted by World Bank South Asia

What’s happening?

Join us for #SLDU2017: Economic Benefits of Environment Management. This Twitter chat will be hosted by World Bank South Asia (@WorldBankSAsia) in collaboration with the Institute for Policy Studies IPS (@TalkEconomicsSL).
 
When is it?
August 21, 2017 from 5.30 – 7.30 pm
 
Unpacking #SLDU2017
The chat will explore the findings of the Sri Lanka Development Update (SLDU), published this June.
 
I look forward to engaging with you together with a panel from different areas of expertise.
 
We’ll be discussing priority reforms with a focus on how Sri Lanka can better manage both its business and natural environment to bolster economic growth and sustain development.
 
In recent years, natural disasters have left parts of this island nation devastated, exacting a significant economic, fiscal and social toll. The SLDU identifies other challenges as well, pressing the case for fiscal consolidation, a new growth model, improved governance and programs to buffer against risk.
 
The latest update cautions against adopting piecemeal solutions, noting that the challenges facing the island nation are inter-linked and require a comprehensive and coordinated reform approach.
 
In the end, we also hope this Twitter chat will allow us to learn from you as we begin our preparations for the next SLDU.
 
How can you participate?
Never taken part in a Twitter chat before? It’s simple. Just think of this as an online Q&A. @WorldBankSAsia will moderate the discussion, posing questions to panellists. You are encouraged to join in too! Follow along, retweet and engage. If you have a question, simply tweet it out using the hashtag #SLDU2017. We’ll see it and try to get you some answers.

Bangladesh: Building resilience in the eye of the storm (Part 3/3)

Sameh Wahba's picture


This is the third of a three-part series, Resilience in the of the Eye of the Storm, on how Bangladesh has become a leader in coastal resilience.
 
Over the years, Bangladesh has taken major strides to reduce the vulnerability of its people to disasters and climate change. And today, the country is at the forefront in managing disaster risks and building coastal resilience.
 
Let’s compare the impact of the Bhola Cyclone of 1970 to the far stronger Cyclone Sidr in 2007. The 1970 cyclone was then the deadliest in Bangladesh’s history, and one of the 10 deadliest natural disasters on record. Official documents indicate that over 300,000 lives were lost, and many believe the actual numbers could be far higher. 
 
By contrast, Sidr was the strongest cyclone to ever make landfall in Bangladesh. This time, fewer than 3,500 people lost their lives. While tragic, this represents about 1% of the lives lost in 1970 or 3% of the nearly 140,000 lost lives in the 1991 cyclone.
 
The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were unprecedented in scale. Yet, they steered the country into action.

How much should Bhutan worry about debt?

Yoichiro Ishihara's picture
Bhutan hydropower
Construction of the Dagachhu Hydropower Plant in Bhutan. Photo Credit: Asian Development Bank

In many respects, Bhutan has been a development success story. Its people have benefitted from decades of sharp reductions in poverty combined with impressive improvements in health and education. The country is a global model in environmental conservation. It is the first carbon negative country; Bhutan’s forests, which cover over 70% of the country, absorb more carbon dioxide than is produced by its emissions.

The Kingdom of Happiness also must grapple with the reality of managing budgets, creating infrastructure, and preparing its citizens to be able to create and take advantage of jobs of the future. To do that, we are working with closely with Bhutan to build the foundations for a more prosperous future through the cultivation of a vibrant private sector economy and supporting green development.

At the same time, Bhutan has invested generously in hydropower energy production to create a reliable and lasting source of green energy for its people. It also benefits from exporting excess electricity to neighboring India, whose energy needs continue to increase at a rapid pace with their growing economy.

In large part due to the hydropower investments, Bhutan’s public debt was 107 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of March 2017. Hydropower external debt was at 77 percent of GDP with non-hydropower external debt accounting for 22 percent of GDP. Questions have arisen on whether this level of debt is sustainable and what should be done to address it.

د احتمالي خطرونو په اړه اطلاعات کولای شي په افغانستان کې د اقلیمي افتونو پر وړاندې د انعطاف مننې لامل وګرځي

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: English | دری
انځور: د رومي مشورتي شرکت/ نړیوال بانک
افغانستان د زلزلې، سیلاب، وچکالي، ځمک ښوئیدنې او برف کوچ په ګډون د خطرونو او طبیعي پيښو له اړخه ډېر زیانمنونکۍ هېواد دی. سربیره پر دې، د انساني فعالیتونو له کبله راولاړ شويو ګواښونو هم دا ستونزه پسې لویه کړې ده. د هغو هېوادونو په منځ کې، چې د عاید کچه یې ټيټه ده، افغانستان له هایټي وروسته د نړۍ هغه دویم هېواد دی، چې له ۱۹۸۰ څخه تر ۲۰۱۵ کال پورې یې د طبیعي پیښو له کبله زیات شمېر ملکي تلفات ورکړي دي. سره له دې هم، په وروستیو کلونو کې افغان حکومت د پیښو او د اقلیمي خطرناکو فاجعو اغیز او له هغو څخه د رامنځته شویو  امنیتي خطرونو په اړه ژور پوهې  تر لاسه کړی دی. د بېلګې په توګه، شدیده او پر له پسې وچکالي  د خوړو د نه خوندیتوب سبب ګرځیدلی، چې هر کال په منځنی کچه ۲۸۰ میلیون امریکايي ډالر د هېواد د کرڼې سکټور ته زیان  پیښوي. د امنیتي پیښو د اغیزو په پرتله، چې (۱۵ سلنه) دي، طبیعي پیښې او له اقلیمي واقعاتو څخه را پورته شوي زیانونه او تاوانونه د هېواد پر ۵۹ سلنه وګړو په تیره بیا په هغو سیمو کې چې د اقتصاد کچه یې ټیټه ده، زیاته اغیزه لري.

طبیعي خطراتو په اړه اطلاعاتو ته لاسرسی یو حیاتي امر ګڼل کېږي، په تیره بیا د افغانستان په شان زیانمنونکی هېواد کې چې له هرو پنځو وګړو څخه یې څلور کسه خپل ژوند د طبیعي سرچینو له مخې پر مخ وړي. د طبیعي پیښو پر وړاندې د انعطاف مننې  د وړتیا د پیاوړتیا لپاره، په افغانستان کې د طبیعي افاتو په اړه د اطلاعاتو د راټولوونې په اړه پانګه اچوونه ډېره اړینه ده تر، څو همدا اطلاعات بیا د پروګرامونو په طرح او پلي کېدلو کې وکارول شي. د افغان دولت د هلوځلو د ملاتړ لپاره، نړیوال بانک او دنړۍ د ناورین د کمښت او بیارغونې د آسانتیا اداره د طبیعي پیښو د څېړلو  په چارو کې د دولت له وزارت سره په نږدې همکارۍ، د خطر د ځانګړنو په اړه یوه بشپړه ارزونه چمتو کړه، چې موخه یې د سیلابونو ، وچکالیو، ځمک ښوئیدنې، برف کوچ او زلزلو په اړه د احتمالي او بالقوه خطرونو په اړه د اطلاعات مستند کول دي. د همدې ارزونې د موندنو پر عمده موضوع ګانو، میتودولوژي او متوقعه پایلو باندې په دې وروستیو کې د یوې ناستې په ترڅ کې د نړیوال بانک د ګروپ له استازو سره خبرې اترې وشوي. په دغه ناسته کې ځینې مهم ټکي په لاندې ډول مطرح شول: ي وو:
د خطر ځانګړنې او د افغانستان زیانمننې  څه شی ده؟
  • سیلابونه د افغانستان د تاریخ په اوږدو کې یو له مکرره طبیعي پیښو څخه دي، چې په منځنۍ توګه په کال کې ۵۴ میلیون امریکايي ډالر زیانونه رامنځته کوي؛ ستر ناڅاپه سیلابونه بیا له ۵۰۰ میلیون امریکايي ډالرو څخه پورته زیانونه رامنځته کولای شي.
  • له تاریخې اړخه، زلزلو زیاتره تلفات رامنځته کړي دي، چې له ۱۹۸۰ کال څخه را وروسته د ۱۰۰۰۰ خلکو د مړینې لامل شوی ده.
  • شاوخوا دری میلیونه وګړي د ځمکې  ښوئیدنې له ډېر لوړ خطر سره مخ دي.
  • له ۲۰۰۰ ز کال څخه تر اوسه پورې، شاوخوا  ۶،۵ میلیونه وګړي د وچکالۍ له لاسه په شدیده توګه سره زیانمن  شوي دي او شدیده وچکالي کولای شي د افغانستان کرڼیز سکټور ته د اټکل له مخې ۳ میلیارد امریکايي ډالر تاوان ورسوي او دا هېواد د خوراکي توکو له سخت کمښت سره مخ کړي.
  • د اټکل له مخې ۱۰۰۰۰ کیلومتره سړک (د افغانستان د ټولو سړکونو ۱۵ سلنه) د برف کوچ له خطر سره مخ دي، چې په دې منځ کې مهمه لویه لاره لکه سالنګ هم شامل دی.

اطلاعات پیرامون خطرات احتمالی می تواند سبب ایجاد انعطاف پذیری در مقابل آفات اقلیمی در افغانستان شود

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
عکس: شرکت مشورتی رومی/ بانک جهانی
افغانستان از ناحیه خطرات و آفات طبیعی بشمول زلزله، سیلاب، خشکسالی، لغزش زمین و برف کوچ ها اسیب پذیر بوده،. علاوه بر آن خطرات ناشی از فعالیت های انسانی نیز بر این مشکل افزده است.   در میان کشور هایی که دارای سطح  پائین درآمد اند، افغانستان بعد از کشور هایتی دومین کشوریست که بیشترین تعداد تلفات انسانی در اثر حوادث طبیعی را بین سال های ۱۹۸۰ الی ۲۰۱۵ شاهدبوده است. با این حال  در سال های اخیر دولت افغانستان با درک عمیق از چگونگی تاثیرات وقایع و فاجعه های خطرناک اقلیمی و منتج شدن آن به افزایش خطرات امنیتی دست یافته است. بطور مثال، خشکسالی های شدید و دوامدار سبب افزایش عدم مصؤنیت غذایی گردیده که همه ساله به طور اوسط ۲۸۰  میلیون دالر امریکایی زیان و خساره درسکتور زراعت این کشور می گردد. در مقایسه با تاثیر گذاری وقایع امنیتی، که (۱۵ درصد) می باشد، حوادث طبیعی و صدمات ناشی از وقایع اقلیمی روی ۵۹ درصد   نفوس کشور، مخصوصاً در مناطقی که سطح اقتصاد پایین دارند، بیشتر تاثیرگذار است.

دسترسی به اطلاعات درمورد خطرات طبیعی یک امر حیاتی محسوب میگردد، بالخصوص در کشور آسیب پذیری مانند افغانستان که از هر پنج نفر نفوس آن، چهار نفر وابسته به منابع طبیعی غرض امرار معیشت می باشند. برای تقویت قابلیت انعطاف پذیری در مقابله با حوادث طبیعی، سرمایه گذاری ها در افغانستان روی جمع اوری اطلاعات در رابطه به آفات طبیعی نهایت ضروری پنداشته شده، تا این اطلاعات شامل  برنامه ریزی، طرح و تطبیق برنامه های رویدست گرفته شده، شامل گردد. برای حمایت از تلاش های دولت افغانستان، بانک جهانی با اداره تسهیلات جهانی برای کاهش حوادث و احیای مجدد در همکاری نزدیک وزارت دولت در امور رسیدگی به حوادث  اخیراً یک ارزیابی جامع خطرات چندگانه مشخصات خطر، را تهیه نموده که هدف آن مستند سازی اطلاعات درباره خطرهای احتمالی و بالقوه از ناحیه سیلاب های رود خانه یی و ناگهانی، خشکسالی ها، لغزش زمین، برف کوچ ها و زلزله می باشد. روی عمده ترین موضوعات یافته های این ارزیابی، میتودولوژی (روش)، و نتایج متوقعه، اخیراً در یک نشت بخش مدیریت خطرات ناشی از حوادث گروپ بانک جهانی بحث و گفتگو صورت گرفت. بعضی نکات مهمی که در این بحث مطرح شد، قرار ذیل است:

مشخصات خطر و آسیب پذیری افغانستان چیست؟
  • سیلاب ها یکی از حوادث طبیعی مکرر درطول تاریخ در افغانستان بوده، که بطور اوسط سالانه تخمیناً ۵۴ میلیون دالر امریکایی خساره وارد میکند؛ سیلاب های ناگهانی بزرگ  بالاتر از ۵۰۰ میلیون دالر خسارات را وارد کرده می تواند.
  • از لحاظ تاریخی، زلزله بیشترین تلفات را به میان آورده است، که از سال ۱۹۸۰ به بعد سبب هلاکت بیش از ۱۰۰۰۰ نفر گردیده است.
  • حدود سه میلیون نفر در معرض خطرات بسیار بلند   لغزش زمین قرار دارند.
  • از سال ۲۰۰۰ تا اکنون، در حدود ۶،۵  میلیون نفر بر اثر خشکسالی ها متضرر  شده و خشکسالی شدید می تواند سکتور زراعت افغانستان را تخمیناً ۳ میلیارد دالر خسارمند سازد و این کشور را با قلت جدی مواد خوراکی مواجه سازد.
  • تخمیناً ۱۰۰۰۰ کیلومتر سرک (۱۵ درصد تمامی سرک های افغانستان) در معرض خطر برف کوچ قرار دارند که در میان آن شاهراه های کلیدی مانند شاهراه
    سالنگ شامل می باشد. 

Climate in Crisis: How Risk Information Can Build Resilience in Afghanistan

Julian Palma's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
Afghanistan is vulnerable to a number of natural hazards, including earthquakes, flooding, drought, landslides and avalanches, as well as hazards arising from human interaction. Among low income countries, Afghanistan is second only to Haiti in terms of the number of fatalities caused by natural disasters between 1980 and 2015. In the last few years, however, the Afghan Government has increasingly understood how the consequences of extreme weather events and disasters add to existing security risks. Severe and prolonged droughts, for instance, have increased food insecurity, causing on average $280 million in economic damage to agriculture each year. Natural disasters and climate-related shocks affect 59 percent of the population, concentrated in economically poorer regions, as opposed to security-related shocks (15 percent).[1]
 
The availability of disaster risk information is particularly important for a fragile state like Afghanistan where 4 out of 5 people rely on natural resources for their livelihoods.[2] To strengthen resilience, investments in Afghanistan need to incorporate information on natural hazards in their planning, design and implementation. To help support government efforts, the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), in close cooperation with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), recently produced a comprehensive multi-hazard assessment level and risk profile[3], documenting information on current and future risk from fluvial and flash floods, droughts, landslides, snow avalanches and seismic hazards. The main findings, methodology and expected outcomes were recently discussed and presented to the Disaster Risk Management community of practice within the World Bank Group. A number of takeaways from the discussion are presented below:
 
What is Afghanistan’s risk profile and vulnerability?
  • Flooding is the most frequent natural hazard historically, causing average annual damage estimated at $54 million; large flood episodes can cause over $500 million in damage
  • Historically, earthquakes have caused the most fatalities, killing more than 10,000 people since 1980
  • 3 million people are at risk from very high or high landslide hazard
  • Droughts have affected 6.5 million people since 2000; an extreme drought could cause an estimated $3 billion in agricultural losses, and lead to severe food shortages across the country;
  • An estimated 10,000 km of roads (15 percent of all roads) are exposed to avalanches, including key transport routes like the Salang Pass

Bangladesh: Building resilience in the eye of the storm (Part 2/3)

Sameh Wahba's picture

Photo: Swarna Kazi / World Bank

This is the second of a three-part series, "Resilience in the of the Eye of the Storm," on how Bangladesh has become a leader in coastal resilience.

 
With a population of 160 million, Bangladesh is situated at the epicenter of some of the deadliest cyclones the world has ever experienced. Catastrophic events are the norm rather than the exception. A severe tropical cyclone can strike every 3 years and 25% of the land floods annually.
 
The network of the mighty Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna rivers makes its meandering journey through the delta into the Bay of Bengal forming the coast of Bangladesh.
 
The jagged coastline of Bangladesh spans hundreds of miles and is subject to multiple challenges: 62% of the coastal land has an elevation of up to 3 meters and 83% is up to 5 meters above sea level. These low-lying areas are highly vulnerable to natural hazards.
 
Earlier this year, I got a chance to see first-hand the challenges that this demanding landscape had brought onto the communities of a remote coastal village. What struck me most when speaking to members of this coastal community was their courage and resilience. Aware that a calamity can hit anytime, they struggle to protect their livelihoods affected by saltwater intrusion, and their own lives which are increasingly at risk due to rising sea levels, and exposure to more frequent and devastating storms and cyclones.
 
By 2050, the coastal population is projected to grow to 61 million people, whose livelihoods will increasingly be at risk due to the impact of climate change.
 
Triggered by climate change, seawater inundation could become a major problem for traditional agriculture. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (2014), climate-related declines in food productivity will impact livelihoods and exports and increase poverty. In Bangladesh, it is estimated that these factors would cause a net increase in poverty of 15% by 2030.
 
To mitigate against such risks, the government has been investing in strengthening the resilience of the coastal zone. Over the years, Bangladesh has become an example of how protective coastal infrastructure, together with social mobilization and community-based early warning systems, is helping to build resilience.

Seize the Opportunity to make Dhaka a Great, Vibrant City

Qimiao Fan's picture

The success of Dhaka, one of the megacities of the world, is critically important for the economic and social development of Bangladesh. The city's astonishing growth, from a population of 3 million in 1980 to 18 million  today, represents the promise and dreams of a better life: the hard  work and sacrifices made by all residents to seize  opportunities to lift themselves from poverty towards greater prosperity. 

 
 However, as Dhaka has grown to become one of the most densely populated cities in the world, its expansion has  been messy and uneven. Dhaka's growth has taken place without adequate planning, resulting in a city with extreme  congestion, poor liveability, and vulnerability to floods and earthquakes. Many residents, including the 3.5 million  people living in informal settlements, often lack access to basic services, infrastructure, and amenities. 
 
Unplanned and uncontrolled growth has created unprecedented congestion: the average driving speed has dropped  from 21km per hour 10 years ago to less than 7km per hour today. Continuing on current trends would result in a  further slowdown to 4km an hour — slower than the average walking speed! Congestion eats up 3.2 million working hours each day and costs the economy billions of dollars every year. Some of the most important economic benefits    from urbanisation are missed out due to this messiness, resulting in lower incomes for the city and the country.
 
These problems will not go away on their own. Dhaka's population is expected to double once again by 2035, to 35  million. Without a fundamental re-think requiring substantial planning, coordination, investments, and action, Dhaka  will never be able to deliver its full potential. Dhaka is at a crossroads in defining its future and destiny. 
 
Up to now, urban growth has mainly taken place in the northern part of Dhaka and expanded westward after the  flood of 1988, when the government built the western embankment for flood protection. This resulted in high-density  investments near the city centre, where infrastructure and social services were accessible. However, real estate investments were not coordinated with other infrastructure and transportation services. 

What were your favorite entries from the Sri Lanka environment photo contest?

Tashaya Anuki Premachandra's picture

Inspired by Sri Lanka's incredible natural beauty, the World Bank organized a photo contest starting on June 21st aimed at showcasing the many talented photographers among us as well as celebrating the rich flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. We received an overwhelming response from many talented photographers, both professional and amateur, who sent us hundreds of awe-inspiring entries.

After the contest ended on June 30th, 167 entries were shortlisted. We asked you which photos were your favorites and you voted until 6PM Monday on your selections through social media. Without further ado, here are the top 10 based on your choices!

Let us know what you think in the comments below and don't forget to follow World Bank Sri Lanka on Facebook as well as the World Bank's Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives, @Idah_WB on Twitter

1 - Ganindu Madhawa

2 - Balamurali Ellamurugan

3 - Shehan Thiwantha

4 - Shehan Thiwantha

5 - Shehan Thiwantha

6 - Ganindu Madhawa

7 - Ganindu Madhawa

8 - Kasun De Silva

9 - Vinod Liyanage

10 -  Kasun De Silva

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