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Climate Urgency and ‘Smart’ Agriculture in Sri Lankan River Basins

My research on ‘Climate urgency and smart agriculture in Sri Lankan river basins’ aims to gather ethnographic knowledge through a collaborative approach, on how the different stakeholders in the agriculture sector perceive ‘smart’ agriculture and climate urgency in one of the key agricultural districts in Sri Lanka, which has a history of ancient irrigation technology combining man-made and natural water bodies for year round agricultural production. The field location is in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and is subjected to climate induced prolonged droughts, floods and heat waves. Therefore, many international and local development actors have allocated funds to this district to enhance climate adaptation, mitigation and address loss and damage with the agricultural community. The outcomes from my research has the potential to understand the perceptions of climate urgency in agriculture with key stakeholders in Sri Lanka contributing to bridging the knowledge gaps in anthropological research on climate urgency.

Doctoral Candidate: Avishka Sendanayake


I’m a Marie Curie Fellow under the C-Urge project affiliated with the University of Catania, Italy under the supervision of Prof Mara Benadusi. My academic background stems from a BSc in Sustainable Development from Kingston University London (2016) followed by a MSc in Climate Change and Sustainability from Brunel University London (2017). My BSc thesis research was conducted in Sri Lanka, which had a strong focus on qualitative analysis aimed at understanding perceptions of ecosystem services of coral reef ecosystems in fishing communities. I returned to Sri Lanka after my higher studies to start my professional career in the civil society/ development sector. I worked for a non-profit organisation where I gained practical skills and knowledge of climate change adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage interventions at the field level in Sri Lanka. I conducted several focus group discussions and interviews through an anthropological lens for climate adaptation projects in Sri Lanka. I was also able to contribute to the development of policy briefs and other scientific research on climate change issues. Then I joined the UNICEF Sri Lanka Country Office as a consultant on Climate Change and Water Security for 2 years. Throughout my professional career, I have received several opportunities to lead, contribute and author several publications, manage projects and spread awareness on interdisciplinary aspects of climate change and sustainability. I believe that understanding climate urgency through an anthropological lens will be a great tool to further climate action and build resilience through a bottom up approach. 

Meet The Team

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Avishka Sendanayake

Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania


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Mara Benadusi

Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania

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Jonathan Everts

PhD Candidate



Impact Hub Net

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