Published:  07:52 AM, 23 October 2023 Last Update: 07:56 AM, 23 October 2023

The key to mitigate climate risk for Bangladesh

The key to mitigate climate risk for Bangladesh

At an event yesterday, October 22, 2023 at the Multipurpose Hall of the Bangladesh Military Museum, experts and leaders in agriculture, climate, and meteorology gathered today to highlight the critical role of farmers' capabilities in using seasonal forecasts to mitigate climate risks in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh faces persistent climate vulnerability and frequent natural disasters, prompting the launch of the "Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Forecasting for Agriculture in Bangladesh" initiative, now active for six months at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. Developed in collaboration with the 'Department of Agriculture Extension' and 'Bangladesh Meteorological Department' under the 'Agro-Meteorological Information Systems Development' project, this initiative provides timely and accurate weather information directly to farmers.

Traditionally, Bangladeshi farmers received forecasts limited to a few days ahead, leaving them unprepared for adverse weather conditions. The 'Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal forecasting system' bridgesthis gap by offering advanced notice and preparation time. Weather Impact, Wageningen University,Digital Innovation for Impact (Dii) and with support from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), developed this proposed system.

The event's keynote emphasized upcoming weather and climatic challenges facing Bangladesh, stressingthe importance of empowering farmers, extension agents, researchers, and policymakers with weatherand climate advisories for data-driven decisions. This empowerment necessitates collaboration betweengovernment agencies, national and international organizations, and the private sector.Md. Shah Kamal Khan, the project director, welcomed attendees ‘Sub-seasonal and seasonal weatherinformation is very important for our farmers in their farm management planning. The active cooperationof DAE, BMD and long efforts of international research institutes to implement this, is commendable.’

A comprehensive keynote delivered by Bob Ammerlaan from Weather Impact Netherlands highlightedvarious weather and climatic challenges to be faced by Bangladesh in the coming weeks to decades.Chief Guest of the event Dr. Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh AgriculturalResearch Council (BARC) mentioned, “This initiative is crucial for Bangladeshi economy as itunderscores Bangladesh's commitment to building a resilient and prosperous agricultural sector, alignedwith its 'Smart Bangladesh' vision”.

At a panel discussion at the event panelists Ishrat Jahan, Chief of Party, Feed the Future BangladeshClimate Smart Agriculture Project, Dr. Mohammad Asaduzzaman, Climate Policy Advisor, Embassy of theKingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, Raquibul Amin, Country Representative, IUCN Bangladesh,and Tania Sharmin, Director of Livelihood and Food Security, Save the Children Bangladesh emphasized the pivotal role of the Climate Information Service in amplifying climate resilience.

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