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Gobeshona 6: Model for Exploring Climate Services

“Bangladesh Academy for Climate Services (BACS) and its Vision: A model for exploring Climate Services” hosted by ICCAD, IRI, BMD and CMMIYT

The session titled  “Bangladesh Academy for Climate Services (BACS) and its Vision: A model for exploring Climate Services” hosted by ICCAD, IRI, BMD and CMMIYT was held at Gobeshona 6 conference, organized by the International Centre for Climate Change And Development (ICCCAD) at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). The plenary session was chaired by  Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD. The presenters were Ms. Melody Braun, IRI, Ms. Tasfia Tasnim, ICCAD and Mr. Ashraful Haque, Coordinator, FOREWARN Bangladesh. The panelist were Ms. Azizun Nahar, Deputy Chief, Agriculture, Water resource and Rural Institutions, Bangladesh Planning Commission, Dr. Abdul Mannan, Meteorologist, Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Dr. Amjath Babu, Agriculture Economist (Modelling and Targeting), CIMMYT, Dr. Mizan R Khan, Deputy Director, ICCCAD,IUB.

The first presenter was Ms. Melody, she discussed access to accurate information about climate changes and the measures taken to prevent the circumstances. Ms. Melody quoted “Not all information is needed to make a decision.” 

Some practitioners don’t know where to get decision relevant information.

For example: In East Africa the projected long term prediction was that there will be more occurrences of rainfall but the observation was that there was less occurrence of rainfall. 

So accurate and appropriate information is required for proper proceeding actions that need to be taken due to climate change.So to grab these information we need to know the past, present and future information, then  a) Generate b) Translate c) Transfer d) Use.

Lastly she quoted “We need to know the adaptations, to adapt to the climate variables.”

Ms. Tasfia Tasnim is the next speaker in this session, She quoted “There has always been a gap between the one who needs information and the one who produces the information.” 

She mentioned that BACS (Bangladesh Academy for Climate Services) are working upon fulfilling these gaps. They are working by formalising these data by developing holistic approaches to build the capacity to meet the climate services goal. 

 she spoke about some interesting key points to gain accurate information:

  1. Developing professional training to address the different climate needs
  2. Giving graduate level courses bringing awareness and approaches
  3. Convincing a group of stakeholders and then working together to bring out change. 

Lastly, she added some innovative points building and improving sustainability: 

  1. Practicing the TOT approach, where trainers become the next teacher.
  2. Collaborative way of learning things
  3. Building capacity strategically. 
  4. Integrate these information into the decision making process.

Mr. Ashraful Haque was the third speaker, he presented his innovative project FORWARN.

This project is based on a forecast based warning and analysing network. He quoted “FOREWARN is basically a group of researchers who can produce useful information that can be used by NGOS, Government, and users at the ground level.” 

Climate services and FOREWARN talks about four services 1) Generation 2) Translation 3) Transformation 4) Users. FOREWARN is basically working on the same principles. 

He also quoted “We need to break the gap and barrier, bring the stakeholders together to do the analysis so that it can be understandable by every stakeholder to take necessary actions.”

Lastly, he stated about the FOREWARN groups that are allocated into specific hazardous conditions, which included the Health group, Flood Group, Cyclone group, Drought Group, Landslides group. In these groups all stakeholders will work together to produce useful information. He also wanted some helpful inputs from the audience to improve his projects and build sustainability. 

Mrs. Azizun Nahar the Deputy Chief, who is responsible for Bangladesh Planning Commission.

She stated that the government is working on several projects concerning climate change. The Annual Planning program, the Delta Plan, the Barind project. The government is not only planning on long term projects but also working on prospective projects about the local people. She talked about the Minor Irrigation Policy and the Early Warning Project. She stated that it is true that there is a  lack of information and upon where to start seeking it. 

She lastly said that there is a gap between the private sectors as they are doing their own research and the government are doing their work in their own way. She quoted “Government and private sectors should work integratedly in a collaborative approach to fulfill this gap.” 

Mr. Amjath Babu who is the next speaker is an Agricultural Economist from CIMMYT. He shared some examples of short term and long term applications regarding climate change decisions in Agriculture. He quoted “CIMMYT is rolling out climate services for the last 3 years and was able to make huge advances.” 

He professed due to climate change farmers are being affected and they are in need of climate information and services to make smart decisions. They researched and brought out specific weather conditions suitable for specific crops and promoted these information to improve the yield of these crops. They also developed interactive sessions for farmers in Patuakhali region.

Another climate service provided for the farmers was the Farmer field school to provide information and map the climate sensitive decisions.

Dr. Abdul Mannan from BMD quoted “Agriculture, Tourism and all sorts of departments are very sensitive to climate change.”

He said that collaborative approach and conducting joint research is required to utilize these information and take appropriate measures. He lastly stated that acknowledging people’s perspective is also very important so that facilities can be provided to them. All of the sectors need to conduct together, implement the information and then enhance the technologies.

The last presenter is Dr. Mizan Khan who is the Deputy Director, ICCCAD. He has also shared the same thought that climate change impacts all sectors. He quoted “Climate change affects all sectors so we should work together with other economic and financial service sectors like banks, insurances.” 

He added that banks and insurance policy also lack information, so if long term and short term information is provided, then the central bank can make financial instruments accordingly impacting the economic areas. He concluded by stating 3 policies which are

  1. Identifying fossil fuels 
  2. Promoting renewable energy
  3. Creating efficiency policies like resource conservation.

Farhana Akter Nitu is an Environmental Science student at Independent University, Bangladesh.

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