UNESCAP/ACCIMT Joint Project on Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Early Warning

Sri Lanka has been selected by the United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) as the pilot country for space technology based capacity building on drought monitoring and early warning.

This was made at the 17th Session of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) of the Regional Space Application Programme (RESAP) of the UNESCAP which were held at the United Nations Conference Centre at the Bangkok during November 26th to 28th of 2013.

Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) as a National Focal Point for space technology applications take forward the above project. Space Technology application based expertise in the domain is been provided by the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), India and Institute of Remote sensing and Digital earth (RADI), China which act as a regional Service Node.

Under this initiative, capacity building measures including expert trainings on the subject for the Engineers and Scientists from the participating agencies at space training centers in India and China also CPD workshops in Sri Lanka with the participation of the international experts.

The pilot project which will be continued for several agricultural seasons and expected to develop Space technology based agriculture drought monitoring and Early Warning system appropriate for Sri Lankan Community. Fundamentally the approach followed in developing the monitoring and Early Warning assistance is a process of using Earth observation satellite derived data and space applications tools to generate the series of indices related to agriculture drought followed by comparison of such results with the actual ground truth information

Under this circumstant the ACCIMT take forward the above projects

Involve following key departments

    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Agrarian Development
    • Department of Meteorology
    • Department of Irrigation
    • Mahaweli Development Authority Sri Lanka
    • Census and Statistics department

NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) of 2016.02.02, Calculated Using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Satellite data

Important Implementation phases of the project

      • UN-ESCAP technical experts visited Sri Lanka from 18th to 20th of December, 2013 and held a one day work shop
      • Capacity building training programme at ACCIMT from 17th to 21st of February 2014.
      • Regional Workshop on Space Technology Applications for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning held at Mount Lavinia Hotel, Galkissa, 1st and 2nd July 2014.
      • Video Conference for the project team and the experts of National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), India.
      • “Indian capacity building training program”, jointly by the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with UN-ESCAP, under the UN-ESCAP Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning in Asia and the Pacific, was successfully held from 28th July to 1st August 2014 at National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), India.
      • Arranged a Steering committee meeting at ACCIMT.
      • Expert Training Program in Sri Lanka, on 24th to 27th Feb 2015. Thirty Participants from Sri Lanka (Scientists, Engineers, researchers) Participated for this workshop. Major Service Nods are Institute of Remote sensing and Digital earth (RADI), National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) India, and UNESCAP.