Date of Award

Fall 12-19-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


Rice cultivation in Sri Lanka roots back to its very first Kingdom in 161 B.C, and is still an incredibly populous industry to this day with an estimated 708,000 hectares of land being used for paddy cultivation. However, due to a changing global climate and an increase in natural disasters worldwide, Sri Lanka’s rice industry and the millions of people dependent on it have been greatly affected. This paper seeks to explore resilience building in a Sri Lankan context, taking into account the cultural and socio-economic factors that may influence how rice is farmed and who farms it, and to answer the question of how to prioritize resilience building as a path to sustainability . Chapter 1 assesses the data on how climate change is transforming Sri Lankan agriculture with a particular focus on shifting yields in rice production over the last 10 years, and then seeks to reconcile these figures with statistics on shifting climates and natural disasters in rice growing regions in Sri Lanka. This chapter will also set the historical and ideological basis for rice growing in Sri Lanka. Chapter 2 addresses the problem of climate change by utilizing the UN IPCC Reports of 2007 and its 2019 refinements to understand what resilience building is, paying close attention to the theories of resilience building and how to redesign Sri Lankan rice farming systems to prioritize building resilience and promoting sustainability, while comparing case studies of alternate crops and crop farming systems. Chapter 3 assesses the social impact of resilience building, and seeks to understand the role of the stakeholder and the local communities who would be both directly and indirectly impacted by resilience building and the long term potential impacts of this action. Chapter 4 looks at the economic models of resilience building, and assesses how we can create new economic models to reflect environmentalism. Chapter 5 provides necessary reflections on how to overcome some of the challenges that are presented in previous chapters.