New Delhi: Ways to scale up climate services through policy and communications was discussed at a pre-conference event organized by Vigyan Prasar, the national level science communication organization of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), as a run-up to the International Conference on Climate Services (IICS-6) at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
Around 100 national and international delegates participated actively in discussing the present status of climate services and how communication and policy interventions could scale it up on 10 February.
“Climate Services constitute delivery of climate information for taking decisions, and hence such information should be regular, authentic, and relevant to the decision-makers. Herein lies the role of effective policy and communication,” said Dr. Rupa Kumar Kolli, Executive Director, International CLIVAR Monsoon Project Office hosted at IITM, Pune.
Dr. D S Pai, Head of the Climate Services Division of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, outlined different climate services like agro-meteorological advisories and products like climate forecasts that have been set up in India. He also highlighted the challenges in communication they face in the dissemination of such services like language barriers, and lack of understanding of terminologies, and intricate scientific details along with the public.
Dr R Krishnan, Head of the Centre for Climate Change at IITM, emphasised the need for basic research in making climate services robust while Dr Milind Majumdar, Scientist at IITM, elaborated on the outreach and capacity building activities undertaken by IITM.
Dr Roxy Mathew Koll, also a scientist at IITM, highlighted the need for international collaborations, sharing of public-funded essential data in delivering services related to weather, climate, and the oceans.
Dr Makarand Kulkarni, Scientist, Skymet, elaborated on the role of private organizations in reaching weather and climate services to people.
Stressing on the need for communication to scale up climate services, Dr Vinu Valsala said that the very presence of Vigyan Prasar underlines the increasing need for communication.
An audience consisting of scientists, community managers, and representatives from civil society highlighted the necessity for colour coding to overcome barriers of language and scientific understanding, and the need for gatekeepers to make information relevant.
Kinkini Dasgupta Misra, Scientist, Vigyan Prasar, called for a need for a roadmap which can set the stage for a future climate services policy and communication while Dr Archita Bhatta, Editor, Vigyan Prasar, outlined the present state of climate communication, interventions necessary, and the role that Vigyan Prasar can play in it.
The recommendations at the side event will help form a roadmap on ways to reach climate-related information to the people and also to influence policy for scaling up climate services.