Understanding the Complexity of Using Climate Information in Agriculture Decision-Making: Insights from coastal Bangladesh

Authors: Saleh Ahmed*, University of Arizona
Topics: Development, Human-Environment Geography, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: climate information, coastal Bangladesh, systems approach, adaptation decisions, barriers
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Forum Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate information is not inherently useful, rather it needs to be tailored for making the meaningful impacts on local context. However, sometimes tailoring climate information does not ensure the utility of climate information, even the society needs information for its improved adaptation decisions. Based on empirical research in coastal Bangladesh, this presentation discusses the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level challenges that can compromise the utility of climate information in agrarian society. In micro-level, in addition to household level socio-economic differences, individual level perceptions and beliefs on climate change impacts can influence the extent of climate information use for adaptation decisions. In meso-scale, community features can influence the use of climate information. For example, local majority, who are predominantly Bengali Muslim, usually have more social connections than other religious and ethnic minorities. This influence the access, trust, and use of climate information. The macro-level challenges are when local farmers cannot access to climate information due to the local structural challenges, such as absence of local roads or electricity. Also, inadequacy of local agriculture extension agents are part of macro-scale challenge. Overall this presentation not only highlights the challenges of using climate information in resource-constrained conditions, but also provides critical inputs for improvements. This presentation ends with the conclusion that how systems approach can help us to understand the usability of climate information in any resource constrained condition.

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