Does individual level socio-economic conditions determine the usability of climate information? Insights from coastal Bangladesh

Authors: Saleh Ahmed*, University of Arizona
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Human-Environment Geography, Global Change
Keywords: climate information, climate stresses, coastal Bangladesh, social vulnerability, usability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bonaparte, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

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 socio-environmental challenges.

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