October 16, 2017

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, Integrated Development Association (IDEA) has worked actively on Eco-Village Development (EVD) in three local villages in the central province. IDEA also advocates for EVD at all levels, from grassroots to national.

The village activities started with gathering stakeholders and villagers for an initial workshop to raise awareness of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and of the EVD concept. The feedback from the participating division-level stakeholders was positive and the project could be implemented at the village level with their support. A local community based organization (CBO), “Arunalu”, is now carrying out activities at divisional and village levels under the supervision of IDEA. Following the initial workshop, EVD plans were developed for the villages with active involvement of the villagers through several village dialogues and PRAs (Participatory Rural Appraisals also known as Participatory Learning for Action). Three-year plans dealing with environment, agricultural livelihood, non-agricultural livelihood, social sector, and infrastructure sector were developed. Emphasis was placed on solving issues and satisfying needs of the villagers in a low-carbon, sustainable manner and with village community empowerment. Contributions from village-level governmental officials were another special feature of this planning exercise. As recommended in the initial planning, IDEA held some demonstrations of technology and some awareness-raising/training workshops for residents. The integrated approach of this project is supported by IDEA’s vast experience as well as its successes with improved cook stoves and other local solutions.

The main solutions demonstrated in the villages are:

  • Two large-scale efficient biomass stoves have been built and demonstrated in two household businesses that initially were using conventional inefficient stoves. Brick-making improvements have been introduced in one of the villages.
  • Organic home gardening awareness and training workshops have ignited a lively interest in many families to demonstrate the home-garden improvements. The importance of home gardening, how to prepare nurseries, the different kinds of organic fertilizers, and various other home-gardening techniques/best practices have been propagated through these workshops. Local seeds have been distributed, along with training on the best ways to grow them and to gain the best yields.
  • Energy-conservation workshops have been held in the villages with facilitation by local government. The involvement of the local government is one of the successes in the project.


  • All the interventions carried out at the villages have drawn active involvement and acceptance of the community and other development officials in terms of participation in trainings, labour and resources in demonstrations and social mobilization and many other villagers have tried to adopt relevant solutions and continue to do so. The climate resilience of these communities have been improved in terms of knowledge and appropriate solutions and practices.
  • With the implementation of the project IDEA has succeeded to showcase a viable model by Operationalizing and implementing EVD initiatives and concept. This information has been presented from District to national level decision makers and has as a result to this been recognized.
  • The EVD project and interventions has earned the acceptance of Ministries- Ministry of Sustainable Development and wildlife (MSDW), Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMDE)- which has led to collaborate in co-organizing a national Dialogue on Sustainable Eco Village Development in Sri Lanka with their collaborative efforts. While similar interventions have been carried out by these institutions, igniting such a dialogue has paved the way for a common platform for different actors to convene on the future of EVD initiatives collectively.

You can learn more about the EVD projects in Sri Lanka at the website of IDEA and INFORSE and read some case stories here.