Saleh Ahmed Abstracts

Saleh Ahmed

Ph.D. Candidate

Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP

 

American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting

New Orleans, Louisiana

April 10-14, 2018

 

Growing concerns on climate variability and change among rural people in various parts of the world have fueled investment and development of climate services, which involve the production, translation, translation, and use of climate information. The provision of climate services/information has gained interest among research and policy communities because of its potential roles on managing risks, inform adaptation, and plan for uncertainty, so that the damage can be minimal. The value of climate services has been assessed in various contexts, and the reigning consensus is that climate services, if appropriately presented and communicated, can reduce risk and support used decision-making. However, weather and climate information is not inherently valuable in rural agrarian settings. The information must be tailored to the specific needs of the users (e.g. farmers) if it is to have a positive impact on the production outcomes and local livelihoods. With a focus on coastal Bangladesh, which is at the frontline of global environmental change, this paper highlights the factors that limit the value of climate information in its decision-making, even if the information is communicated and understood adequately. Based on empirical finding and using the theoretical lens of social vulnerability to climate change, this paper suggests that individual level socio-economic conditions can influence the usability and effectiveness in farm-related decision-making. Even though the regional focus is on coastal Bangladesh, the findings have relevance to other parts of the world facing similar socioenvironmental challenges.

 

Abstract for Lay Audience

Increasingly, people in many parts of the world are experiencing weather and climate anomalies. These anomalies affect peoples’ lives, economy, and society at large. As a response to this challenge, there is growing interest among science and development communities about the use of climate information so that people can reduce their risks from hazards like cyclones or unpredictable rainfall, and can take more informed decisions. Climate information can be particularly important for the smallholder farmers in the developing regions who have limited resources to cope with or respond to any major climate crisis. Findings around the world suggest that if climate information is delivered and communicated to farmers that should reduce risks and support farm-related decision-making. However, climate information is not inherently valuable. It needs to be tailored to a local context and needs to address specific challenges; otherwise it is very likely that climate information will remain un/under used. This research focuses on coastal Bangladesh, which is the central region of Bangladesh that faces various hazards on a regular basis, such as tropical cyclones, storm surges, and rainfall variability. In this region, the majority of the population is poor smallholder farmers. Even though climate information can make a positive impact on their farm-related decision-making, there are number of socio-economic factors that can limit the use of climate information. For example, many smallholder farmers in the area do not own their lands, and in that case, they do not have a deciding capacity on their farmed lands. Using a region-specific case study and the theoretical lens of social vulnerability to climate change, which suggests that people’s vulnerability to climate change can be shaped by their individual level income, age, gender, race and religion, this research will advance understanding about under what conditions farmer do or do not use climate information for their adaptation decisions and will provide insight on how theory can help us understand a practical, contemporary challenge. 

Last updated 5 Jun 2019