by Vanessa Meadu and Cecilia Schubert
Knowledge is power when it comes fighting hunger, food insecurity and climate injustice. This is one of the core premises at the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice conference which kicks off today in Dublin, Ireland. As one of the conference co-organisers, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) wants to showcase how scientific and indigenous knowledge are being mobilised for positive change.
In Senegal, CCAFS and partners including the Senegalese National Meteorological Agency, the Agriculture Extension Service, and many farmers groups, have developed an innovative and exciting approach to reduce the risks that farmers face as the climate becomes more and more variable: put climate information into farmers hands. Farmers have been involved in every step of the way, helping meteorologists and other specialists package and communicate the information in a way that is truly useful.
Blog story: Putting climate forecasts into farmers' hands, 25 July 2011
Blog story: Following up on last year’s climate forecast workshop – what happened next? 27 February 2012
The CCAFS team is reporting live from the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice conference in Dublin from 15-16 April 2013. Watch live webcasts at www.eu2013.ie and follow updates on the CCAFS blog. Engage with us on twitter @cgiarclimate using #HNCJ.
by Alexa Jay
In an increasingly uncertain climate, farmers’ traditional knowledge of when to sow and harvest, and when to expect rains, may no longer be enough. Supporting farmers with weather and climate information services for agricultural decision-making is a key strategy for enhancing food security in already vulnerable areas. Existing initiatives have shown that they can in fact reach farmers and provide a valuable service, but the challenge of broadening the impact of climate services in vulnerable communities remains.
In the light of this, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Theme 2, “Adapting through managing climate risk,” hosted a workshop on “Scaling Up Climate Services for Farmers in Africa and South Asia” in mid-December in Senegal, to create ways forward for broadening the impact of climate services and making them work for smallholder farmers.
This was done in a collaborative effort partnering up with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Climate Services Partnership (CSP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
What is happening in the field? Read more »
by Vanessa Meadu
Climate services – that is, the provision of accurate and locally-appropriate climate and weather information – are a vital building block for increasing the resilience of communities to climate change, diseases, and disasters. But many countries lack the capacity to make the necessary predictions, let alone supply this information to decision makers and communities. A new initiative, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), is working to enhance the capability of many countries to provide these services, so that they can adequately plan for the future. But information supply is not enough; information needs to suit users’ needs and communities need resources to act on the information they receive. Read more »
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to help monitor climate change as well as help farmers adapt and mitigate to its effects. This important link was discussed at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) symposium on ICTs, Environment and Climate Change held in late July in Accra, Ghana.
In Africa, where half the continent’s population uses a mobile phone, people now have unprecedented access to information via their handsets. The Guardian recently reported on the multiple ways mobile phones have catalysed innovation, including in the farming sector. For example, farmers from isolated areas can access weather information via text messages (SMS) or phone calls, to prepare for upcoming drought spells, heavy rain or floods. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)