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December 4, 2015

JICA holds inaugural seminar on Capacity Development Project for Creating Digital Elevation Model Enabling Disaster Resilience

The Japan International Cooperation Agency in harmony with the Survey Department of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Land held an inaugural seminar on Capacity Development Project for Creating Digital Elevation Model Enabling Disaster Resilience at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 4th of December, 2015.

A total of 73 persons participated to the seminar from the government concerned such as Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau, Central Environment Authority, Department of Meteorology, Disaster Management Center, Land Use Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Land, National Building Research Organization, National Planning Department, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, Urban Development Authority and Survey Department in Sri Lanka and from Embassy of Japan as well as JICA related personnel. Furthermore, there are several academics from University of Colombo, University of Moratuwa and University of Peradeniya as well attended the session.

This inaugural seminar aimed at sharing the outline of the project and basic knowledge on Ligthe Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology among potential data users.

Mr. D.N.D. Hettiarachchi, Deputy Surveyor General, thanked the government of Japan, JICA and the JICA Project Team for supporting and implementing the project at his opening speech. Hettiarachchi emphasized significance of the data produced by the project will not only usable for disaster risk reduction, but also in other sectors such as infrastructure development.

Mr. P.M.P. Udayakantha, Surveyor General, explained how this LiDAR survey will be conducted and the obtained data for mapping functions in Sri Lanka in his welcome speech. Further, Udayakantha stated necessity of detailed geographical information especially in the disaster prone areas and also expected possible applications of the data in areas such as forestry and coastal zone management.

Dr. Yutaka Kokufu, JICA Project Leader, then, explained the Project objectives, survey area, survey method and schedule after he introduced other project team members, using his slide[1] . Kokufu emphasized that this project have two objectives, namely, to produce the digital elevation model and to transfer those necessary technology.

Thereafter, Mr. Reynald Adorador, LiDAR Survey Expert, introduced the LiDAR technology basics[2] from how to organize the LiDAR survey and the flow to produce the Digital Elevation Model from the obtained data by LiDAR. Adorador said that the LiDAR survey is affected by weather like the conventional aerial photography, since there is no data reflection from water surfaces. In addition, the laser beam could penetrate between leaves of trees and hence it makes LiDAR survey possible to measure the ground height.

Though the data produced by the project is limited, the technology transferred to the Survey Department by the project will enable Survey Department to apply various aspects The thematic mapping component of technology transfer may be altered to a higher degree with the efforts of the trainees of the Survey Department as their skills will be raised as they receive on-the-job training from the JICA project members.

JICA sincerely hopes that this project will help urge Sri Lankan Government to identify and understand the risk and hazard in the country by using the map created by this project. This preparation will help achieve some of the priority target "Sendai Framework for Action", set at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held last March in Sendai.

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