Organization: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Pete Epanchin, Climate Adaptation Specialist, Global Climate Change Office, USAID
- Amy Barthorpe, Head of Business Development, WeFarm
- Ben Lloyd Hughes, Data Scientist, Institute for Environmental Analytics
- Enrico Ponte, Head of Risk and Resilience, GeoAdaptive
- Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Environmental Monitoring Program, IRI, Columbia University
Every day billions of people use climate information services to manage risk. These services can inform us on what to wear, when to fertilize, when to take cover, or what climate to plan for decades from now. Integrating local and remote earth observation data into decision making helps us prepare for and minimize the impacts of natural hazards, including climate variability and change. The use of these technologies in decision making has taken on the risk of forecast uncertainty in order to address weather and climate risks. When done well, these efforts can demonstrate success across multiple sectors at differing spatial and temporal scales, and address a range of needs that vary from country to country and region to region.
The development and delivery of a climate service decision support tool that is connected to decision making relies on a diverse value chain from observation and data collection, to data processing, integration, interpretation, translation, dissemination, and action such that this value chain incites positive behaviors that build resilience to climate change. This is no simple feat. No single entity is capable of addressing the vast needs for the development and delivery of a climate service in one locality, let alone across the world’s developing nations. Accomplishing this requires the participation of multiple stakeholders and institutions willing to work in a coordinated value chain that links knowledge to action, with the engagement of many different organizations. This presents powerful opportunities in which a wide range of actors can collaborate and realize the potential of a multitude of datasets and technologies. Through collaboration an elaborate and dynamic network emerges where each participating organization’s strengths are tapped into, from data collection to capacity building, to delivering useful information out to the last mile.
As the field of climate information services grows, there is much that we can learn from each other in order to create and promote sustainable information systems. This session engaged with a range of actors participating in the complex network of climate service production and information delivery, highlighting a variety of entry points and approaches that are ultimately intended to benefit the most vulnerable through decision-making support in the face of a changing climate.
By Bessma Mourad, Skoll Global Threats Fund