Media Release

14 June 2023, Colombo – Members of the Board of Governors of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) called on the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, at Temple Trees on Thursday, 13 June.

The IWMI delegation comprised Board Chair Dr. Roberto Lenton, Board members Dr. Simi Kamal and Mr. U.D.C.Jayalal, IWMI Director General Dr. Mark Smith, and Senior Advisor to the Director General Dr. P. Ramanujam.

The IWMI delegation conveyed their appreciation of the support provided to the institute by the Government of Sri Lanka in hosting IWMI as the only international organization headquartered in the country.  Among the key areas of discussion with the Prime Minister was the ongoing transition to One CGIAR and the opportunities this will bring for additional research and knowledge support to Sri Lanka through other CGIAR centers. IWMI is one of 15 research centers of CGIAR, the world’s largest public research network on food, canal and water systems.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the upcoming visit of the Chair of the CGIAR System Board, which facilitates a close dialogue between the System Board and the Host Country Governments of the CGIAR Research Centers.

“IWMI is very grateful for the continued support of the Government of Sri Lanka, and we are honoured to further strengthen our partnership through greater collaboration in research and knowledge for water security,” said Dr. Roberto Lenton, IWMI Board Chair.

The IWMI delegation also discussed with the Prime Minister the institute’s current portfolio of activities in Sri Lanka, which comprises several research projects in the areas of irrigation and agricultural productivity, groundwater management, climate information and adaptation, waste management, water storage, wetlands conservation, and sustainable agri-food systems.

In its capacity as a CGIAR knowledge and research center, IWMI is supporting the Government of Sri Lanka to develop, enhance, and implement several land and water-based management policies. With capacity strengthening at the heart of its work, IWMI is collaborating with line ministries, government agencies, universities, donors and vulnerable communities to provide data and evidence for stronger policies and practices around land and water management.

“With our extensive and demonstrated expertise for over three decades and excellent partnerships, IWMI is well placed as a knowledge partner in promoting research for sustainable water management and climate change adaptation in Sri Lanka,” said Dr. Mark Smith, IWMI Director General. “IWMI is deeply committed to fostering partnerships and collaboration with institutions in the Global South, and we believe such partnerships serve to address the knowledge gaps in developing countries confronting similar challenges to water security and impacts of climate change.”