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Climate Change | Are We Ready?

Quibit | Published thu Jun 08, 2017 11:39 am

The world is changing; Climate change has become a debatable topic all over the world. Specially, developing nations are concerned with the changing patterns of climate as they are the victims of current climate change in most of the times. With many evidences, it shows that the developed nations are adopting good strategies to deal with current climate change. As a third world country, Sri Lanka has to deal with these unpredictable changes of the weather. And the corporate sector of Sri Lanka is trying to find their way to deal with this extreme weather conditions.

Climate change means a significant change of weather patterns over a reasonable period of time. And it is important to know about the current climate situation in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a lucky nation to have little effects of current weather change comparing to rest of the world. However, Sri Lanka is highly vulnerable for Droughts, Floods, Landslides, and specially Unpredictable rainfall patterns. And increasing temperature and sea level rise can be considered as minor threats of this dramatic change of weather.

Before discussing about the effects of climate change to corporate sector, it is much important to know about the meaning of corporate sector. Corporate sector means a set of companies, businesses and industries which contribute towards the GDP of a country. Corporate sector of Sri Lanka has identified the importance of climate change and trying to develop strategies to face climate change. They know that climate change can bring up the threats and even the opportunities for their businesses. As a major fact, the pattern of rainfall has been changed dramatically. Plantation sector is the major victim of these unpredictable rainfalls. Plantation sector mainly consists with Tea, Rubber, Coconut, and Paddy. According to Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual report – 2011; The production of Tea, Rubber and Paddy has decreased by 0.1%, 0.9%, and 19%. Coconut was the only survivor with the increase of production by 1.8%. It was clearly identified that the major reason for this downfall of plantation sector was the unpredictable rainfalls. It should be noted that plantation sector should be properly diversified according to climate changes in Sri Lanka to deal with unexpected weather changes.

It is identified as another emerging threat is the rise of sea levels. As an island Sri Lanka is rounded up with the sea. After the end of 30 years war, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has been increased dramatically and tourists have increased in numbers. With the tremendous development of tourism, hotels were built in almost everywhere in the country. As Sri Lanka has a beautiful sea side, Hotel Industry is looking to increase their businesses in sea sides. So, Hotels should concern more about the sea level rise. Even now, Sri Lankan government has implemented new rules and regulations for buildings located around sea sides. And it should be noted that the bad memories of Tsunami has helped to adopt new strategies to deal with the sea. Like in many of developed countries, Sri Lankan hotels should follow a proper disaster management system.

Since ancient time, Sri Lanka is a key trading point in the Indian Ocean. So, Sri Lanka has identified the importance and targeted this opportunity. Hambanthota port is the newly built harbor in Sri Lanka. According to the daily news Business (23 November, p 1) “The Hambantota Port Free Zone has attracted 17 entrepreneurs with a massive investment to the tune of US $ 2 billion”. Marine and logistic businesses will be taken place with these investments. Business sector should have assessed the sea level rise factor before investing, as ports can be seriously affected with the rise of sea levels.  

Sri Lankan fishery industry is being affected seriously by the unexpected wind patterns and also rainfall patterns. Sea storms can be considered as the most dangerous final outcome of the changing wind patterns. Fishery industry has serious negative effects with sea storms and even fishermen have to pay with their lives with the changing wind pattern. But it should be mentioned that Sri Lankan government has built beter communication system to spread the news and alert about these storms before they occur. But, still due to some communication errors, fishery industry is still suffering from these unexpected wind patterns. So, proper pre-disaster communication system will help to increase fishery production in Sri Lanka.

Hydro power industry is another sector which is highly affected by the extreme weather conditions. In recent time, interest of private sector of Sri Lanka in investing in mini hydro power projects has been increased rapidly. But these investments should consider about drought and unexpected rainfall patterns in Sri Lanka. If these firms can predict and manage extreme weather correctly, they can make gains with the huge unexpected rainfalls.

With the emerging business trends, corporate sector can not consider profits only like old days. Corporate Social Responsibility is an emerging business ethic which is followed by many business firms in Sri Lanka. Climate change can be affected not only for business firms but also peoples in a country. In every year, huge number of Sri Lankans are affected badly by droughts, floods, landslides etc. So, there is a huge responsibility on corporate sector’s hands to help the victims of these climate changes. Many firms in corporate sector have identified their responsibility and they are doing their best to serve for victims of bad weather conditions as CSR projects.

According to the above facts, it can be clearly understood that Sri Lankan corporate sector has direct impacts of the current climate change. Sri Lankan business firms like Plantation companies, Hotels, Marine companies, Fishery firms and Hydro power projects are likely to be the most affected sectors by the climate change. Even though, Sri Lankan corporate sector can’t escape from these effects of extreme weather changes, they are trying their best to survive. And it should be highlighted that Sri Lankan government has a big responsibility to secure their corporate sector from the affects of climate change. Finally, still there is a question unanswered and that is “Is Sri Lankan corporate sector is Ready or Not for the world’s climate change?”


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