7th International Conference of the Union of Geographic Information Technologists (UGIT) jointly organised by Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Department of Geography and Geo-informatics, Bangalore University, India and UGIT was held on 24th to 25th of November 2018 at Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (PGIHS), University of Peradeniya under the theme “Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development through Geospatial Technology (CDGeo-2018)”. The event was graced by Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake (Vice Chancellor, University of Peradeniya) as the Chief Guest and His Excellency Mr. Dhirendra Singh, Assistant High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka as the Guest of Honour accompanied by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Peradeniya, Dean-Faculty of Arts, Deans of other faculties, Directors of postgraduate institutes, Heads of the departments- Faculty of Arts and other distinguished invitees.
Prof. K.W.G. Rekha Nianthi the Chairperson of the conference organising committee welcomed the gathering to ‘CDGeo-2018’. Technical sessions were held under three main thematic areas, namely, climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. The conference aimed to address issues and challenges related to the environment and to contribute towards achieving sustainable development. Many academics and researchers from India and Sri Lanka including geographers, geologists, environmentalists, geospatial technologists, university students, administrators and planners from governmental and non-governmental agencies participated the event. ‘CDSGeo-2018’ was an excellent opportunity for Geographers and other related scientists to share their knowledge and research experiences in a common platform in order to strengthen their research culture and collaborations.
Emeritus Professor C.M. Madduma Bandara and Prof. Mukund Kadursrinivas Rao representing Sri Lanka and India delivered the Keynote Address of the conference. In order to motivate researchers, the UGIT conferred cash prizes, certificates, mementos, medals and awards for the ‘Best Research Paper’ and for the ‘Best Young Technologist’s Presentation’ at ‘CDSGeo-2018’. Also, most outstanding researchers in Geography or those who have promoted geospatial technologies in different fields of study were awarded ‘Excellence Awards’ conferred by the executive body of Union of Geographic Information Technologists. Further, eminent scholars were felicitated at the inaugural session of ‘CDSGeo-2018’. Prof. Tilak Hewawasam, the Secretary of the conference organising committee delivered the Vote of Thanks, marking the end of the inauguration of ‘CDSGeo-2018’.