WorldFish organized a five-day training session on Climate Information Services (CIS) for Aquaculture and Agriculture in Bangladesh, at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), from 27th to 31st October 2019. The event was held in collaboration with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD) and BMD. The training was first of its kind in South Asia – an effort made possible by the Capacitating Farmers and Fishers to Manage Climate Risks in South Asia (CaFFSA) project under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
The training aimed to enhance the capacity of different actors in the aquaculture value chain, and their support agents, in understanding and using climate information as well as gaining a better understanding of specific climate service entry points for aquaculture. Representatives from government and academia, farmers, entrepreneurs and those from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors were among the participants.
The event covered a wide range of issues, starting with climate ‘basics’ (climate change and climate variability) and the four pillars of CIS (generation, translation, communication and use). Timescales and examples of CIS applications in agriculture were presented, in order for participants to explore the possibilities for aquaculture and fisheries. In addition, participants were introduced to the impacts of climate variability on aquaculture and food security, and the different agro-meteorological and early-warning tools. Challenges to implementing CIS, how to overcome them, and opportunities for CIS in aquaculture and fisheries were also discussed.
Lively group discussions followed by presentations made it clear that the stakeholders were very interested in CIS products to manage climate-related risks in their fisheries and aquaculture operations. They identified the need for a separate map room to receive tailored CIS for aquaculture and fisheries and recognized that the BMD aquaculture app as very generic, recommending that it be further improved – for example, to provide more context-specific climate information. CaFFSA will build on this momentum, continuing to work with partners in Bangladesh to develop the Decision Support System for fisheries and aquaculture tailored to user-defined needs to provide practical recommendations.
(Lead Photo by Jacquelyn Elise Turner, IRI, Columbia University)