Kathmandu, February 2
Challenges and opportunities associated with the use and uptake of future climate projections in South Asia was the primary premise of a three-day workshop, which concluded in Kathmandu recently.
Experts from national meteorological and hydrological institutions, regional entities, research organisations and academia in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and the UK gathered to share their experiences in developing future climate projections specific to the region, and making use of the information produced for policy and decision-makers.
The regional workshop, organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and the Met Office, the UK’s national meteorological service, was part of the UK Aid-funded Asia Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate programme, that aims to deliver new technologies and innovative approaches to help vulnerable communities use weather warnings and forecasts to better prepare for climate-related shocks.
The four-year programme will target the most vulnerable countries in the region, primarily Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan and will deliver new technologies and innovative approaches to help communities use weather warnings and forecasts to better prepare for climate-related shocks.
In the workshop organised from January 29 to 31, David Molden, director general at ICIMOD shared that mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change and the Hindu Kush Himalaya region had been identified as a knowledge gap area. Simon Lucas, team leader for Inclusive Growth and Resilience Team, DFID in Nepal, said that the ARRCC programme came at the right juncture to help get the information on climate science right, thus enabling better decisions.
The workshop discussed the application of future climate projections in different socioeconomic sectors, and recommended further strengthening ICIMOD’s Regional Database System to host a complete range of climate projection data.
“Through the ARRCC programme, the Met Office will bring in its expertise to help countries in South Asia to strengthen climate services in the region towards achieving climate resilience”, said GhulamRasul, regional programme manager, Mountain Environment Regional Information System at ICIMOD.
“Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time. This project will enable scientists, practitioners and policymakers to work together to co-develop new tools and knowledge that will benefit communities across South Asia”, said Joseph Daron, international climate services manager, from the Met Office.
According to a press release issued by ICIMOD today, the workshop also served to initiate sustainable and effective user engagement with a selection of users in the region to underpin activities for the rest of the programme. Outputs from the workshop include recommendations for ARRCC Programme activities to enhance the provision and application of climate projections in South Asia. It is highly vulnerable to weather and climate impact such as flooding, droughts and cyclones. In the past two decades, over 50 per cent of South Asians, more than 750 million people have been affected by at least one natural disaster, ICIMOD said.
A version of this article appears in print on February 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.