Digital climate information and advisory services for de-risking aquatic food systems

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To help in addressing the pressing challenges posed by climate change in Bangladesh’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, a policy brief titled “Digital Climate Information and Advisory Services for De-Risking Aquatic Food Systems” was published by Dr. Peerzadi Rumana Hossain and Dr. Benoy Kumar Barman, scientists at WorldFish, together with Mr. Raju Ahmed, Assistant Director at the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

This publication sheds light on the critical role of digital climate information and advisory services (DCIAS) in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change on the vulnerable aquatic food systems. The policy brief emphasizes the following key highlights:

Addressing climate-induced challenges: The fisheries and aquaculture sector in Bangladesh is grappling with economic losses and hardships stemming from the unpredictable and extreme nature of climate change. The resultant food, nutrition, and livelihood insecurities, alongside social disparity and gender inequity in vulnerable communities, are urgent concerns that demand effective resolution.

The role of DCAIS: DCIAS are identified as pivotal tools for anticipating, preventing, responding to, and recovering from climate risks. They play a crucial role in reducing the footprint of climate risks across interconnected systems such as food, nutrition, livelihoods, society, and the economy.

Urgency of tailored services: Tailoring and enhancing the quality, context-specific, and accessible DCAIS for fish farmers and fishers at scale is deemed urgent to effectively address the compound and cascading climate risks prevalent in aquatic food systems.

Empowering communities: Capacity building at both individual and institutional levels, alongside climate literacy programs for vulnerable communities, is highlighted as a critical factor in facilitating the adoption of DCAIS and promoting climate-informed decision-making.

Leveraging digital technologies: Integration of food systems with the internet of things and artificial intelligence for automated data input systems is identified as a crucial strategy to ensure the sustainability of digital platforms and to generate viable information and services.

Policy integration and investment: National policies, plans, and programs are urged to integrate DCAIS as a means to de-risk value chains under a variety of climate risk scenarios. Furthermore, investment mechanisms from public and private sectors and donors are emphasized as essential components in effective climate risk management.

This policy brief provides a comprehensive roadmap for addressing climate-induced challenges in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, offering a well-articulated framework to harness the potential of digital climate information and advisory services. It underlines the urgent need to integrate DCAIS into national policies, while also emphasizing the imperative nature of investment mechanisms to fortify climate resilience within aquatic food systems.

To download the policy brief, please visit the link.

This work is part of the CGIAR Initiative on Asian Mega-Deltas.

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