Integrating urban agriculture and forestry into climate change action plans: lessons from Sri Lanka

The Western Province in Sri Lanka is the most urbanised province in the country. Rapid urban growth has posed a number of problems. Ever increasing vehicle traffic and commercial industries have contributed to increased environmental and air pollution. Food and construction are two major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including those generated through transport. Large areas of agricultural lands have been converted for residential and commercial land uses, significantly altering natural water flows and drainage. This, coupled with an increase in average rainfall as well as heavy rainfall events, has resulted in recurrent flooding and related damages to infrastructure, utility supply and the urban economy. This brief illustrates how the Western Province is promoting urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry as a strategy to reduce vulnerability to climate change, while at the same time enhancing urban liveability and livelihoods.