Embedding Weather and Climate Services within an Agricultural Risk Management Framework
Meinke, HB, Embedding Weather and Climate Services within an Agricultural Risk Management Framework, Symposium Proceedings, International Symposium on PWS: A Key to Service Delivery, 3-5 December 2007, Geneva, pp. 94-98. (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Increased preparedness to better manage risks arising from weather or climate related events will lead to better social,economic and environmental outcomes. Such increased preparedness can be aided by forecasts. However, weather and
climate forecasting is not the panacea to manage all risks. Instead, it is one of many risk management tools that sometimes play an important role in decision-making. Tailoring the required weather/climate information to decision
makers requires understanding when, where and how forecasting can be used most effectively. This is a complex and multi-dimensional issue that is best addressed via a participatory, cross-disciplinary approach bringing together
institutions, disciplines and people as equal partners. To create climate knowledge, climate science can provide insights into climatic processes, agricultural systems science can translate these insights into management options and rural sociology can help to determine the options that are most feasible or desirable. Any scientific breakthroughs in weather or climate forecasting capabilities are much more likely to have an immediate and positive impact if they are conducted and delivered within such a framework. In addition to problem orientation and stakeholder engagement, a better understanding of temporal and spatial variability is required for sound decision making. This can only be achieved if the uncertainties associated with forecasts are also communicated. Given the large degree of unreducible uncertainty associated with the semi-chaotic bio-physical processes that drive weather and climate systems, only probabilistic approaches to forecast dissemination should be considered.