During the last few decades, of the many natural hazards that are prevalent Sri Lanka, floods, landslides, droughts, cyclones and lightning have occurred more frequently causing severe damage to life and property. This situation has created an awareness among policymakers that disaster management should emphasize risk identification and mitigation rather than the commonly practiced relief-oriented approach. The subject of disaster management has now assumed prime importance particularly in view of the devastating December 26, 2004 tsunami that killed tens of thousands of people and destroyed several thousands of dwellings and other buildings.
This M.Sc. Programme proposes a value adding philosophy that allows graduates with different backgrounds to gain a focused understanding of disaster management and mitigation. The strategy is to train a broad base of professionals from diverse sectors that can integrate risk reduction appropriately in their practices. It also actively models the interdisciplinary aspect across natural, physical and social sciences as well as between practitioners and researchers. The programme reflects the notion that effective disaster management is an inter-sectoral activity requiring knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. These include an understanding of hazard processes, an appreciation of governance, poverty and household livelihoods as well as cognizance of health and illness on development potentials. The programme has, as its long term objective, the sustainable training of well accomplished professionals who would be available to carry out a range of activities related to hazard, vulnerability, risk analysis and mitigation.