[Re]negotiating Space, Environment, and Society



Conference – 2021

29th October, 2021

Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

NGC-2021 will be conducted at the Department of Geography of the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka on 29th October 2021.


The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink afresh about our relations with space, environment and society and their mutual fortifications. The precarity and uncertainty that characterizes human life at glocal scales remind us to reimagine ‘milieu’; not simply to maintain or survive the ‘new normal’ but to gaze beyond and afar.

Depleting agricultural lands and eco-systems, changing climate, repeated ecological calamities (floods, landslides, coastal erosion, droughts, pandemics), regimented physical planning, territorialized politics, forced mobilities and migrations, aggrieved nationalisms, expedited urbanity and deprived rurality - all demand us to rethink our spatial and environmental relations, scientifically but critically along with new methodological insights. This is an ideal moment to discuss and debate the work we do as geographers and the lives of communities (bio-physical and social) involved in our work. As geographers,

  • How can we utilize the powers of a discipline that outstandingly bridge social sciences and natural sciences galvanized by its geo spatial technologies with its integrative, holistic and interdisciplinary perspective towards the matters of the earth?
  • How can we invest the intellectual, technological and institutional infrastructures of Sri Lankan Geography to address the current social, spatial and environmental issues?

Against this background, the Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Geographers, is organizing the 7th National Geography Conference on [Re]negotiating space, environment and society on the 17th and 18th of June, 2021. The conference is expected to initiate a dialogue among geographers, and researchers from related disciplines and to share the findings and insights of geographical research with the policy makers.

Abstracts of research presentations are solicited on the following themes relating to Sri Lanka focusing on theory, practice and policy: however, abstracts within the scope of any sub-discipline of Geography will be accommodated.


  • Theoretical, methodological and pedagogical issues of Sri Lankan Geography
  • Climatic change, disasters and social resilience
  • Geographies of soil, land, water and biota
  • GIS applications, Remote Sensing and Geo-visualizations
  • Socio-spatial dynamics and transformations of urban and rural spaces
  • Politics of territoriality: Nationalisms, mobilities and displacements
  • Socio-spatial and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic

Important Dates

Event Date
Abstract submission deadline31st January 2021
Notification of acceptance15th March 2021
Conference date29th October 2021


General Guidelines

Abstract submission: Authors should submit their extended abstracts through electronic mail. All submissions will be duly acknowledged by the conference secretariat. Once an abstract is submitted, it will be subjected to a double-blind peer-reviewing process for evaluation. Accepted extended abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings of NGC2021. The authors should follow the guidelines given below when submitting their extended abstracts.

  • Authors should submit extended abstracts using the template that can be downloaded from the conference website.
  • Extended abstracts should be clearly written in British English.
  • Research work presented or published elsewhere should not be submitted to NGC2021. If plagiarism is detected in the review process, abstract will be rejected.
  • Extended abstracts should be carefully compiled and thoroughly checked for the content and also for typographical errors. Abstracts should reflect the findings of already completed research.
  • Once an abstract is accepted, it is obligatory for the author or one of the co-authors to present the paper at the conference.
  • All extended abstracts should be 4 to 5 pages. Figures, tables, and equations can be included in the abstract. If required only the source of funding of the research may be acknowledged in a single sentence.
  • Authors can submit abstracts under one of the thematic areas of the conference. However, the editorial committee of the conference reserves the right to change the theme of the abstract if deemed necessary.
  • Authors have to sign a declaration form confirming that the work reported in the extended abstract is an original research carried out by the authors and this work has not been published or presented elsewhere. A dully filled declaration form must be submitted along with the abstract, which can be downloaded from the conference website

Abstracts should be e-mailed to ngc2021@arts.pdn.ac.lk as an attachment on or before 15th January 2021. Please note that all communications will be carried out through e-mail.

Abstract Review: acceptance or rejection of reviewed extended abstracts will be under the purview of the editorial committee of the conference.

Presentations: Authors of all accepted extended abstracts should make their presentations at the conference in the English medium. Fifteen minutes will be allocated for each oral presentation, which will be followed by a 10-minute discussion time.

Oral Presentations

Will be updated soon

Registration Information


Free Registration

(Closing date of registration - 15th October 2021)

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Conference Schedule

Will be updated soon

Keynote Speakers

  • Guest Speaker
  • Asoka S. Gunawardena

    Formerly of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, held amongst others, positions of Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs, Director of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) and Chairman of the Finance Commission. He is presently Chairman and Executive Governor of Marga Institute. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA). He has worked for the UNDP as “Chief Technical Adviser”, Management Development Programme in Myanmar and as “Training Specialist in Law and Judicial Process” for project on “Building Capacity for Local Governance”, Bangladesh.

    Count over twenty-five years of experience in research and consulting covering a range of development policy fields including governance, decentralization, and development. Have publications and papers in above areas of work. Headed the first assessment of Sri Lanka’s devolution experience as Chair of Committee, “Operational Experience of Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka” (1994). Served on Panel of Experts supporting constitutional reform under the “All Party Conference” initiative (2006) and “Constitutional Assembly” initiative (2016/2017).

    Holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Ceylon, Post-graduate Diploma in Development Administration, University of Leeds, UK., and a Master in Social Science from the University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

  • Chief Guest Speaker
  • Malin Herwig joined UNDP in Sri Lanka as the Deputy Resident Representative in August 2021. She brings 17 years of international development experience working on governance and peacebuilding, as well as in management and coordination roles within UNDP. Most recently she served as the acting Director for the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and before that as Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Adviser, UNDP Regional Hub for Arab States in Amman, Jordan (2015-2019) where she also led the regional efforts on Preventing Violent Extremism.

    Ms. Marlin Herwig
    Deputy resident representative, UNDP Sri Lanka.

    Prior to this, Malin worked as Policy Specialist in UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, New York. Previously, she was Head of the Office of the Resident Coordinator, UN Liberia and Team Leader, Poverty Reduction in UNDP Kazakhstan.

    Before joining UNDP, Malin served as member of the Swedish Government Committee investigating the events during the Gothenburg EU Summit 2001, in particular the role of the police. She had engagement in Swedish civil society, including as President of the National Council for Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU).

    Malin holds a Master in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Uppsala, Sweden and Bachelor from Stockholm University


    MAP OF CONFERENCE VENUE Will be updated soon
    DETAILS OF PROGRAMME Will be updated soon
    DETAILS OF TECHNICAL SESSIONS Will be updated soon

    Contact Us

    Don't hesitate to contact us

    Congress Secretariat
    Department of Geography
    University of Peradeniya
    Peradeniya, 20400, Sri Lanka
    Tel : +94 (0)81 239 2672 / +94 (0)77 570 7067
    Fax : +94 (0)81 239 2672
    E-mail: ngc2021@arts.pdn.ac.lk

    Conference Chair
    Prof. Tilak Bandara
    Department of Geography University of Peradeniya
    +94 71 4460893