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Interview with Padmi Ranasinghe, Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Texas (UT) - Arlington

Padmi is currently reading for her Ph.D. focusing on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for climate change risk reduction and resilience cities. She believes NbS can reduce hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, and landslides in the long run. It is a strategy to minimize the gaps in decarbonizing and reducing greenhouse gases and a path to Net-zero cities. NbS, are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, benefiting people and nature (IUCN & World Bank, 2022). Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR), ecosystem-based mitigation (EbM), and green infrastructure are some branches under the umbrella of NbS. NbS include conserving forests, mangroves, and wetland ecosystems, halting deforestation, increasing reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, and opening green spaces. According to her, space technology is integral to planning, monitoring, and analysis. Space technology today is so advanced that it can capture and predict changes in the water cycle, climate change variables and so forth. Remote sensing data and satellite-derived information are essential in obtaining accurate data on a specific site anywhere on the Earth's surface. Most recently, she has been involved in projects utilizing urban NbS such as the conservation of Ramsar-Colombo to mitigate urban floods and adapt to climate change. To conduct wetland inventories, space-based data and GIS techniques can be utilized to detect the presence of wetlands and/or water in wetlands. Though there can be some challenges encountered such as limited coverage of specific areas within the wetland, clouds often hiding images, and the low resolution of data making it difficult to differentiate floral species. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) can provide enhanced accuracy and consistency in measuring wetlands, as well as the presence of water in wetlands, using space technologies. Data and technologies from space contribute to watershed management, sediment measurements and many other environmental aspects.

Interview with Padmi Ranasinghe, Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Texas (UT) - Arlington

Padmi is currently reading for her Ph.D. focusing on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for climate change risk reduction and resilience cities. She believes NbS can reduce hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, and landslides in the long run. It is a strategy to minimize the gaps in decarbonizing and reducing greenhouse gases and a path to Net-zero cities. NbS, are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, benefiting people and nature (IUCN & World Bank, 2022). Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR), ecosystem-based mitigation (EbM), and green infrastructure are some branches under the umbrella of NbS. NbS include conserving forests, mangroves, and wetland ecosystems, halting deforestation, increasing reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, and opening green spaces. According to her, space technology is integral to planning, monitoring, and analysis. Space technology today is so advanced that it can capture and predict changes in the water cycle, climate change variables and so forth. Remote sensing data and satellite-derived information are essential in obtaining accurate data on a specific site anywhere on the Earth's surface. Most recently, she has been involved in projects utilizing urban NbS such as the conservation of Ramsar-Colombo to mitigate urban floods and adapt to climate change. To conduct wetland inventories, space-based data and GIS techniques can be utilized to detect the presence of wetlands and/or water in wetlands. Though there can be some challenges encountered such as limited coverage of specific areas within the wetland, clouds often hiding images, and the low resolution of data making it difficult to differentiate floral species. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) can provide enhanced accuracy and consistency in measuring wetlands, as well as the presence of water in wetlands, using space technologies. Data and technologies from space contribute to watershed management, sediment measurements and many other environmental aspects.

Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

Socio-groundwater toolbox

To date, hydrological issues are playing a key role in the implementation of the goals in which water has a crosscutting role linked to many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set in the 2030 Agenda. According to SDG 6, there is a need to monitor eight different interrelated targets globally. At present, several global tools and initiatives for water monitoring exist. A prerequisite for their implementation is to have a thorough knowledge of the system and a consistent database, usually collected at a country and global scale worldwide.

Stakeholder

Mozaika

Mozaika, The Humanizing Technologies Lab, provides research and development in the field of data science, natural interfaces (human-computer interaction), knowledge management and human insight. At Mozaika we are trying to leverage data science with natural interfaces to provide solutions tailored to human behavior, attitudes and comprehension. The company specializes in building information infrastructures that serve a variety of applications in data as a service or intelligence as a service modes. Our solutions are either human user facing or modules of larger systems.

UN Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Our mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

H2O Geomatics Inc.

H2O Geomatics is a research spin-off from the University of Waterloo. The company uses state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies to turn Earth Observation (EO) data into products and information tailored to meet end-user needs in various domains of application. H2O Geomatics is also conducting R & D activities on machine learning algorithms to handle big EO datasets as well as the development of environmental risk assessment tools for climate-dependent sectors such as agriculture and water resources management.

Services offered by the company include:

European Organisation for Meteorological Satellites

EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation and was founded in 1986. Our purpose is to supply weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – to the National Meteorological Services of our Member States in Europe, and other users worldwide.

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) is a research and training institute of the United Nations University. UNU is a global network of institutes and programs engaged in research and capacity development to support the universal goals of the UN. It brings together leading scholars from around the world with a view to generate strong and innovative knowledge on how to tackle pressing global problems. UNU-CRIS focuses on the study of processes of global cooperation and regional integration and their implications.

University of Energy and Natural Resources

The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 on December 31, 2011. The University is a public funded national institution which seeks to provide leadership and management of energy and natural resources and be a centre of excellence in these critical areas.

GEO AquaWatch

AquaWatch is an Initiative within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that aims to develop and build the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support water resources management and decision making.

Goal

The goal of the AquaWatch Initiative is to develop and build the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support effective monitoring, management and decision making.

Objectives

The objectives to achieve this goal are:

Person

Software/Tool/(Web-)App