Friday, March 27, 2009

Architects to "Do more with Less"

Sat, 2009-03-14 03:21

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 14 March, ( The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) held its 27th annual sessions with the inauguration of Architect 2009 Trade Exhibition at the BMICH.

At the inaugural ceremony Prof Mohan Munasinghe, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize making key-note address spoke on climate change, sustainable development and the role of the Architects.

The welcome address was made by Jayantha Perera, President SLIA and Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development; Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Construction and Engineering Services and Ms Ferial Ashraff, Minister of Housing and Common Amenities also spoke.

Speaking at the event Mr Perera said that Sri Lanka is at the cross roads of a new era of development and their aim is for the industry and the architectural fraternity to be ready to used this opportunity to “Do More with Less” in terms of using resources to ensure environmentally friendly design concepts and sustainable development.

Prof Munasinghe continuing said that a major concern has been that carbon dioxide has gone up alarmingly in the atmosphere due to industrialization and emission Green-House gas and to achieve sustainable development eco-system should be protected.

While emphasizing the importance of the architects’ contribution and good governance he said that climate change undermines sustainable development and unfairly penalize the poor and is a threat to future human development. He said that business leaders and architects can start making development more sustainable. There are practical solutions and policy options to be implemented that will integrate climate change responses and sustainable development strategy from global to local levels.

He said that poor countries and poorest groups will be most venerable to warming, sea level rise, precipitation changes and extreme events. Most socioeconomic sectors, ecological systems and human health will suffer. Adaptation measures are available, but must be systematically developed. Mitigation technologies are also available, but better policies and measures are needed to realize their potential.

Net economic effects will be negative in most developing countries. Impacts will be worse in many areas where already there are flood and drought prone, and economic sectors are climate sensitive. Lower capacity to adapt because of a lack of financial, institutional and technological capacity, and access to knowledge.

At the beginning of this important presentation by Prof Munasinghe, the three Ministers who were guests of honor, left the Hall.

Along with the Presentation of scrolls to the newly elected members of the SLIA three special awards were presented to Architects Ashley De Vos; Prof Lal Balasuriya and Ole B Larsen.

- Asian Tribune -