Effective Early Warning System for Strengthening Coastal Community Resilience 

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Dr. Senaka Basnayake

Climate Resilience Department
Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC),
Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Senaka Basnayake works as the Director of Climate Resilience Department of Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in Bangkok, Thailand. He has been involved in implementing projects and programs on climate risk management and climate change adaptation in Asia. He has also experience in developing geospatial tools and datasets for understanding risks posed by hydro-meteorological extremes in a changing climate in addition to numerical weather prediction, climate modeling and impacts and vulnerability assessments to climate change. Before joining ADPC in 2010, he has served as a Scientist at Theoretical Division of SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has worked as a Meteorologist-In-Charge of Centre for Climate Change Studies (CCCS) and Deputy Director of Department of Meteorology in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He holds B.Sc. (special) Degree in Physics and a Postgraduate Diploma and Ph.D. Degree in Meteorology.


Heritage and Disaster Resilience

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Ms. Bindu Urugodawatte

BA Hons. (Peking), PGDip (Rotterdam), MA (Harvard)
Fulbright Scholar, Harvard Fellowship, Asian Fellow (Asian Scholarship Foundation)

Bindu Urugodawatte is the Deputy Director Research at the SAARC Cultural Centre.  She is an Archaeologist by profession, trained both in the East and West and carrying out her research in South, Central and East Asia.  Her research interests include Buddhist Archaeology of Sri Lanka and South Asia, Silk Road Buddhist Archaeology, Buddhist Archaeology of Central Asia and China.  Currently she is carrying out research on Paintings of Jataka Stories at the Kizil Rock-Cut Cave Temple in Xinjiang Province of China.  She has contributed her research to both national and international publications and presented her research findings at national and international forums in USA, Europe and Asia.  She is the editor of many of the publications of the SAARC Cultural Centre and her recent publications as an editor and author include SAARC Art Magazine, Hindu Cultural Trails: Celebration of a Timeless Tradition - Gods and Goddesses, Pilgrims and Prayers, Temples and Texts, Book of Abstracts, Buddhist Art and Architecture and Key Buddhist Centres of Devotion and Pilgrimage in Buddhism Living Religion Sri Lanka, etc.  Buddhism in Central Asia in 2600 Years of Sambuddhatva: Global Journey of Awakening, Influence of European Diaspora on Sri Lankan Buddhist Art in the Circulation of Cultures and Culture of Circulation: Diasporic Cultures of South Asia During the 18th to 20th Centuries are some of her other research publications.  She has worked in governmental, non-governmental and private organisations in Sri Lanka, USA and China in various capacities.  She is avid photographer, a nature lover and an intrepid traveller.


Localisation is Key to Resilience and Sustainability

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Mr. Abhilash Panda

Deputy Chief, Europe and Central Asia
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
Brussels, Belgium

Abhilash Panda has nearly 18 years of experience in international development, humanitarian response and disaster resilience at the United Nations.  He is currently the Deputy Chief of UNISDR’s Regional office for Europe and Central Asia covering 55 countries.

Abhilash joined the United Nations in 2004 with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Delhi supporting post disaster recovery and rehabilitation. Since then he has served in various capacities, including Disaster Risk Management Officer for UNDP in Iran (2006-2007), UNISDR’s Regional programme manager for South East Asia (2008-2012), UNISDR’s global lead for Urban Risk Reduction and Resilience and United Nation’s Campaign on Making Cities Resilient (2013-2017).

Abhilash holds a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelors in Electronics Engineering. He is currently pursuing his PhD.

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