Bridging the Climate Information and Communication Gaps for Effective Adaptation Decisions

04 January 2018
Department of Meteorology, Colombo

IPS Research Fellow, Athula Senaratne, recently noted that gaps in information, technology, and policy are some of the main challenges in tackling climate change and pointed out that farmers in Sri Lanka are especially vulnerable to climate information gaps.

Due to climate change, weather patterns have drastically changed, and therefore, farmers’ traditional knowledge in predicting weather patterns have become somewhat obsolete, he said, pointing out the need for a more scientific system to predict changes in weather.

Dr. Senaratne made these observations at a stakeholder workshop for the project titled ‘Bridging the Climate Information and Communication Gaps for Effective Adaptation Decisions: An Integrated Climate Information Management System (ICMIS)’ on 04 January 2018 at the Department of Meteorology, Colombo.

The ICMIS project combines traditional knowledge of farmers with more technologically advanced scientific methods to predict weather patterns more effectively and accurately, and thereby attempts to bridge the climate information gap in Sri Lanka.

The workshop was an important milestone of the project as it was aimed to discuss the experience in providing localized climate information to farmers and utilizing such information for agricultural decisions by farmers.

The responses from farmers indicated that there is a clear demand for localized climate information.  Farmers presented their experience in how climate information is being used and the improvements needed to make sure the functioning of supply of information.

The workshop was attended by local officers and farmers representing all six study districts namely, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Badulla, Ratnapura and Batticaloa.