IUKWC, under its Pump priming project initiative, recently funded a project on "Stakeholder engagement in hydro-climatic services in India". The project is led by Dr. Zareen Bharucha of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, and aims to review current practices, challenges and future opportunities relating to the development of hydro-climatic services (HCS). The project particularly focuses on HCS used in drought-prone agro-ecosystems in the Indian drylands.
The project consisted of a series of linked work packages, including a literature review, a series of interviews with key stakeholders and a participatory workshop with HCS developers. This was held at IITM, Pune, on the 14th and 15th of September 2017. The workshop brought together experts and stakeholders in weather and climate forecasting, tool development and others with an interest and stake in rural and agricultural livelihoods. The workshop used innovative participatory exercises, designed to generate interaction and engagement with all participants.
A unique aspect of this event was the participation of farmers from in and around Pune. Farmers gave short keynote talks, in order to give other participants a grounded perspective into their lives and livelihoods risks. This followed by carefully designed, structured participatory sessions which led to a very high level of engagement not only amongst experts but also between experts and farmers. Representatives from India Meteorological Department, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Skymet Weather, Watershed Organisation Trust, Tata Consultancy Services, Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture, Agriculture University, Pune and Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth contributed enthusiastically to the event discussions.
The discussions that took place clearly highlight the need of stakeholder engagement in developing HCS tools and co-production of scientific outputs. Interactions with farmers led the experts to realize the potential of traditional knowledge to fill in the existing information dissemination and on ground utility related gaps perceived in use of HCS. Finally, the role of participatory methods to achieve effective communication between varied stakeholders of water security science was much appreciated by all.
The project research work is now completed, please check back on our website for the project report and further updates as they become available. For more information on the project, please contact the IUKWC (contact-us) or Dr Bharucha directly by following this link:http://www.iukwc.org/user/173/contact