By Bruce Campbell
Farmers have been at the forefront of changes and “shocks” since time immemorial, so are well placed to counter climate change. However, “coping” is insufficient if food security is to be achieved. Farmers need to know what kind of season is coming, and thus what and when to plant. They need to know about the outbreak of new pests and diseases. On the longer term, they need to know whether a shift in crop species or different farming strategies are needed. A cornerstone of active adaptation is information availability: varieties to grow, diversification options, seasonal climate forecasts, flood and cyclone warnings, pest and disease outbreaks, market options.
by Catherine Mungai and Wilson Ugangu
Farmers are increasingly demanding access to climate information from agricultural- and climate change experts to improve their farming practices. They also desire to learn more, and be part of, an evolving dialogue on how local communities, governmental organizations and research institutions can work together to increase farm productivity and reduce the impacts of climate variability.
These were the findings from a radio project piloted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, in partnership with a local radio station in Eastern Kenya — Mbaitu FM. The 30 minute radio show “Wasya wa Muimi” (the voice of the farmer) was presented in local Kamba language every Friday evening from January to April, 2012, near and around the CCAFS site at Wote. Read more »
One of the challenges researchers face when communicating climate science is the distinction between climate and weather. The public and the media are often quick to conflate the two, resulting in confusion or worse, misinformation. Last year we covered the drought in the Horn of Africa, and highlighted the problems with attributing a single weather event to climate change.
The distinction between weather and climate is also important when communicating with farmers about the changes they can expect and plan for. In our work on Adaptation through Managing Climate Risk, we've been training farmers to read seasonal climate forecasts, to help them plan for longer term changes (as compared to weather forecasts which only predict a few days ahead).
This short video from the Norwegian TV program Siffer helps illustrate the difference between weather and climate simply and clearly.
The video was featured in a recent New York Times blog Can Better Communication of Climate Science Cut Climate Risks? by Andrew Revkin
A summary of the communicating carbon workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya on 12-14 October, written by Sai Kishore, a workshop participant.
One of the key elements in the carbon finance domain is the engagement that the project entity has to undertake with various stakeholders in the project activity. In this connection the recently concluded workshop on communicating carbon finance has looked at the key challenges and the gaps in the communication process. The workshop also helped in identifying the key opportunity areas through the process of story-telling of the experiences that the practitioners had when engaging the various stakeholders. Read more »
Selon le rapport de 2007 du Groupe intergouvernemental sur les changements climatiques (PDF), dans un monde plus chaud de 4C les rendements du blé pourraient diminuer de 60% ou augmenter de 40%. Comment la science peut elle gérer de tels niveaux d'incertitude de sorte à aider, plutôt qu’á paralyser, les prises de décisions politiques? Une partie de la réponse réside dans l'amélioration de l’estimation des incertitudes et des risques, comme sont en train de le faire actuellement des programmes scientifiques multidisciplinaires tels que EQUIP (à l'université de Leeds ). Une autre partie de la réponse se trouve dans une meilleure communication entre Science et Politique.
L’article de Nick Pidgeon et Baruch Fischhoff Le rôle des sciences sociales et de la décision dans la communication de l’incertitude liée aux risques climatiques, passe en revue la vaste série d’opinions sur la communication des risques climatiques pour se concentrer enfin sur celles qui à l’évidence fonctionnent. Les auteurs partagent largement les opinions exposées par le Rapport Stern sur l'économie du changement climatique, et les Académies Nationales, selon lesquelles nous devrions nous concentrer sur les risques, les coûts et les bénéfices de voies spécifiques d’action et non pas sur les persistantes incertitudes qui entourent les déterminants, les processus et les impacts climatiques. Plutôt que d’inviter à des délais infinis - le temps qu’on cherche à obtenir de plus grandes certitudes - cette orientation permettrait de favoriser la prise de décisions. Read more »
Wheat yields could drop by 60% or rise by 40% in a 4C warmer world, according to the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (PDF). How can science manage such huge levels of uncertainty, so as to assist rather than paralyze policy decisions? Part of the answer lies in improving how we estimate uncertainties and risks, as multi-disciplinary scientific programs like EQUIP (at the university of Leeds) are doing. Another part lies in better communication between science and policy.
The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks, an article by Nick Pidgeon and Baruch Fischhoff, cuts through the swathe of opinions on communicating climate risks to the evidence on what works. The authors broadly condone the views of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and the National Academies, that we should focus on the risks, costs and benefits of specific pathways of action, rather than on the persistent uncertainties around climatic drivers, processes and impacts. This focus enables decisions, rather than inviting endless delays while we seek greater certainty. Read more »
One of the key strategies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural landscapes is to protect and enhance the carbon stored in the soil or in trees. Several schemes have developed to reward farmers for good carbon management, where parties may purchase carbon credits produced by farmers to offset their own carbon emissions. However, engaging farmers in such carbon finance schemes is challenging for many reasons, including implementing the various mechanisms for carbon sequestration, dealing with uncertainties surrounding the carbon market, and overcoming information barriers such as language and access to media. This can mean farmers have unclear understanding of risks and develop unrealistic expectations about benefits that carbon schemes can bring. 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)