SpeakerGiriraj Amarnath, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher and Research Group Leader: Water Risks and Disasters
International Water Management Institute – Colombo
BiographyDr. Giriraj Amarnaths main expertise includes disaster risk assessments, sustainability, hydrological process research and water resources management with a focus on developing solutions for pressing climate risks challenges. Many of his research and development projects have demonstrated the impact of climate risks using advance science and technology in different hydro-climatic regions worldwide. He is keen on translating science-based knowledge to effective policies and strategies that contribute to environmental, economic and societal sustainability. Therefore, he enjoys and established Water Risks and Disasters' mission in IWMI and produced regional and national data systems and report to inform policy and decision-makers on the key disaster, agriculture and water challenges and solutions. Giriraj has proven records of building and coordinating strategic partnerships with a large variety of stakeholders and is committed to support achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr. Giriraj is the Research Group Leader: Water Risks and Disaster and working Since 2011 at IWMI, Sri Lanka, Steering committee member of the Sentinel Asia by JAXA, Working Group Chair Water-related Disasters by Asia Pacific Space Agency Forum, Contact point for CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Contact Point UNFCCC, GEO and UN-WMO Integrated Drought Management Programme. He previously worked at the ICIMOD for mountain ecosystems in understanding disaster risks (Since 2009), Research Associate at the University of Bayreuth Germany (Since 2006). Dr. Giriraj Amarnath obtained his PhD (2003) in National Remote Sensing Centre/ISRO in applied remote sensing and landscape ecology and post-Doc (2005) at the French Institute of Pondicherry in fire ecology and species-niche modeling and was a faculty at the University of Bayreuth, Germany in teaching remote sensing for global change ecology.
Dr. Giriraj has received several awards, is frequently invited to give keynote presentations at international conferences, has been reviewer for top journals in the field of water, disasters, and environment, and has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In 2014 he was awarded the Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In 2015 he has received a merit award for the scientific research published by the National Research Council, Government of Sri Lanka. In 2017, received two paper awards at the World Bosai Forum, Sendai (Japan) on the disaster risk assessment and risk transfer solutions through index insurance. Furthermore, he has been involved in steering committees of a number of international initiatives and programmes (e.g. Sentinel Asia, IDMP, etc.). Finally, Dr. Giriraj is a dedicated and well-appreciated educator; he has been lecturing and supervising students in many university programmes worldwide.