Back to news
30 Aug 2017 | News

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council and Partners to Collaborate on Strengthening Climate Services for Drought Monitoring

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) organized a day-long consultation and user engagement workshop on collaborative development of agricultural drought monitoring services in Bangladesh on 17 August 2017. The event took place at the BARC campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop was organized under the USAID-funded SERVIR-Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) initiative and the Climate Services for Resilient Development (CSRD) in South Asia partnership.

3 mins Read

70% Complete
Participants to the consultation and user engagement workshop Image: Santosh Raj Pathak/ICIMOD

The workshop brought together key partners to discuss anticipated methods, work plans, and the user engagement process for the effective development and long-term sustainability of the agricultural drought monitoring service. The northern region of Bangladesh has been facing agricultural droughts. This can reduce the productivity of farming communities, especially where irrigation is not available. Climate change projections suggest a future decrease in precipitation in the dry season, with uncertainties for the spatial location of precipitation in the future monsoon season. Where farmers are unable to adapt, bottlenecks in crop productivity and increased livelihood vulnerability are likely to result.

During the inaugural session of the workshop, Muhammad Jalal Uddin, Executive Chairman of BARC said that the country’s agricultural institutions are committed to ending hunger and poverty. He added that with the adoption of improved agricultural practices, Bangladesh has become self-sufficient in rice, and that further work is needed to attain overall nutrition sufficiency. Jalal Uddin also discussed Bangladesh’s vision for 2030 and its strategy to realize the vision. Referring to the loss of life and property the ongoing flooding has caused, Jala Uddin emphasized on the need to adopt new technologies, including remote sensing applications, to improve the predictability of climate hazards, including floods and droughts. He also thanked the leadership at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) for their efforts in establishing the necessary climate services.

Shams Uddin Ahmed, Director of BMD, extended his full support to establishing agricultural climate services to benefit farmers in Bangladesh. He noted that recurrent droughts in parts of Bangladesh have caused severe groundwater depletion. Citing the case of the High Barind Tract, where groundwater accessibility is a growing concern due to continued drought, he shared that the government has posed restrictions on deep well extraction—allowing the practice only for drinking water extraction—to conserve crucial groundwater resources. He added that access to good quality drought monitoring and early warning information could help develop climate services that can be used to help farmers adapt to these challenges. As such, institutions involved in agro-meteorological prediction bear the responsibility of helping facilitate improved information flow and climate advisories to farmers across Bangladesh.

Timothy J Krupnik, Systems Agronomist with CIMMYT and Project Leader for CSRD in South Asia and Bangladesh, briefed the participants on the CSRD programme. He said that as an international public-private partnership dedicated to promoting and enabling climate services that increase farmers’ resilience to the impacts of climate variability and climate change, the programme can positively change behaviour and affect policy in developing countries.

[L-R] Birendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD; Shams Uddin Ahmed, BMD; Muhammad Jalal Uddin, BARC; and Timothy J Krupnik, CIMMYT
Image: Santosh Raj Pathak/ICIMOD

Birendra Bajracharya, Regional Programme Manager, Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) at ICIMOD, highlighted the opportunities earth observation data products present for addressing societal challenges. He emphasized that the user-centric “services” approach of the SERVIR-HKH initiative at ICIMOD is guided by the overarching goal of increasing the sustainable use of earth observation information and geospatial technologies for environmental management and improved resilience to climate change in the region.

Through CSRD and SERVIR-HKH, efforts are underway to strengthen existing or establish new drought monitoring and early warning systems by incorporating suitable earth observation datasets and linking them to information on local cropping systems in South Asia. The collaborators are working together to establish information communication technology (ICT)-based platforms for the provisioning of user oriented, easily accessible, timely, and decision-relevant scientific information in the form of climate services. Under this partnership, BARC is working to strengthen the capacities of national research and agricultural extension institutes in terms of using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing approaches for drought risk management.

ICIMOD hosts the SERVIR-HKH hub and is part of a larger SERVIR network—a joint development initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). CSRD brings together public and private organizations and agencies committed to realizing the potential of enhancing climate resilience and climate-smart policies and practices throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. As a public-private partnership, CSRD is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK AID, the UK Met Office, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), ESRI, Google, the American Red Cross, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Related content

Continue exploring this topic

Waste management, sustainable tourism, and the quest to become India’s cleanest village

With support from the Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), ...

A New Way Forward for Brick Kilns in Nepal

  The destruction of brick kilns caused by the massive earthquake earlier this April damaged approximately 110 chimneys in the valley. ...

13 Oct 2015 News
Improving Accuracy of Measuring Stream Discharge for Reducing Flood Vulnerabilities

  ICIMOD took another step in improving the quality of hydrometeorological data collection that will contribute to reducing flood vulnerabilities in ...

26 Apr 2016 News
Strengthening Partnerships in Pakistan

ICIMOD Delegation makes a courtesy call to Finance Minister of Pakistan (Courtesy: ...

16 Nov 2018 Cryosphere
Glaciologists share their research findings from the three “poles”

On 29 October 2018, glaciologists from three poles of the globe came together to discuss their research and explore new ...

HEROES data – weather data from Bhutan – now available for public download

The Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) has made weather data from Bhutan available ...

9 Nov 2016 News
Regional Workshop on ‘Measurement Reporting and Verification (MRV) in the Context of REDD+ in the Hindu Kush Himalayas’

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Regional REDD+ Initiative organised the regional workshop ‘Measurement Reporting and Verification (MRV) ...

16 Dec 2021 Press releases
IUCN report identifies sites with World Heritage potential in Himalaya and beyond

A new report lists seven broad areas in the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram mountain ranges where new ...