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Vulnerability of Tea Sector for Climate Change in the Major Tea Growing Regions in Central Hills of Sri Lanka

Authors:

G. M. M. R. B. Karunaratne ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About G. M. M. R. B.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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S. P. Nissanka,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. P.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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B. V. R. Punyawardena,

Department of Agriculture, Peradeniya, LK
About B. V. R.
Natural Resources Management Centre
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A. R. Gunawardena

Central Environmental Authority, Battaramulla, LK
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Abstract

The climate change impacts are becoming a prominent issue in the Sri Lankan tea sector. This study has attempted to identify vulnerability of tea sector in the major tea growing district of Nuwara Eliya in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Mean monthly rainfall and temperature, drought conditions and soil erosion of Nuwara Eliya district were considered as major variables in climate vulnerability mapping. Climate vulnerability map was developed using weighted overlay modeling in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by allocating appropriate weightages for the main variables mentioned above for their influence on tea production. Rainfall data analysis for the study period from 1945 to 2005 revealed significantly higher rainfall variability for months of January, June, July, and August, which highlights the need of special management attention in these months. Around 65% of land extent of the study area possessed an ideal temperature regime (18-250C) for growth of tea. Land extent of 3.96% under tea was highly vulnerable for soil erosion in the study area. Less and moderately soil erosion vulnerable tea extent were 79.64% and 16.40%, respectively. The climate vulnerability map developed based on all four variables, revealed that 13.15% tea extent as highly vulnerable for current climate change. Land extent of 20.54% and 66.31% were categorized as moderately and less climate vulnerable, respectively, which could also become vulnerable in future, if present trends continues. Necessary adaptation strategies should therefore be implemented immediately to ensure the sustainability of the tea industry in the central hill region of Sri Lanka.


Journal of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka: 2015 Vol. 4 No. 1: 29-48

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jepsl.v4i1.7852
How to Cite: Karunaratne, G.M.M.R.B. et al., (2015). Vulnerability of Tea Sector for Climate Change in the Major Tea Growing Regions in Central Hills of Sri Lanka. Journal of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka. 4(1), pp.29–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jepsl.v4i1.7852
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Published on 05 Jun 2015.
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