Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

The Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative (CAMI)

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in partnership with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of ten Caribbean member States have received a grant from the European Union through the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Science and Technology (S&T) Programme for the Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative (CAMI). The objective of the programme is to increase and sustain agricultural productivity at the farm level in the Caribbean region through improved dissemination and application of weather and climate information using an integrated and coordinated approach. The results are expected to benefit the farming community in the Caribbean Region. The project is expected to assist the farming on predictors of the rainy season potential and development of effective pest and disease forecasting systems for improved on-farm management decisions; preparation and wide diffusion of a user-friendly weather and climate information newsletter and organization of forums with the farming community and agricultural extension agencies to promote a better understanding of the applications of weather and climate information and to obtain feedback to provide better products from the meteorological services for use by the farming community.


Building the foundation of agro-meteorology services in the Pacific

A three week long training and workshop, organized by the UN Development Programme and others, through its ‘South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management’, covered the processes involved in agro-meteorology and provided weather specialists and agriculture officers with knowledge, tools and skills to interpret the impact of changing weather patterns on crop and livestock production. The workshop participants identified climate and crop data gaps that existed in their countries and pointed out that this would impact on the implementation of agro-meteorology. It provided the participants with an opportunity to map the next steps in building stronger agro-meteorology services in their countries. (Pacific Island News Association, 20/5/2011)


Global plant database set to promote biodiversity research and Earth-system sciences

The world's largest database on plants' functional properties, or traits, has been published. Scientists compiled three million traits for 69,000 out of the world's +/- 300,000 plant species. The achievement rests on a worldwide collaboration of scientists from 106 research institutions. The initiative, known as TRY, is hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany and promises to become an essential tool for biodiversity research and Earth-system sciences. Plant traits – their morphological and physiological properties – determine how plants compete for resources, e.g. light, water, soil nutrients, and where and how fast they can grow. Ultimately they determine how plants influence ecosystem properties such as rates of nutrient cycling, water use and carbon dioxide uptake. A major bottleneck to modelling the effects of climate change at ecosystem and whole-earth scales has been a lack of trait data for sufficiently large numbers of species. The first release of the TRY database was published this week in the journal Global Change Biology. The availability of plant trait data in the unified global database promises to support a paradigm shift in Earth system sciences. Indeed, analyses of the TRY database demonstrate for the first time on a global scale that most of the observed trait variation is represented by differences among plant species. (Eurekalert, 1/07/2011)


UNCCD May-June 2011 newsletter

The latest updates from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) focus on food security and agricultural resilience in dryland regions. This newsletter offers an analysis of the major policy shifts needed to combat food insecurity and desertification, in the wake of the G8 Summit vision statement on the matter. It also gives an account of the MERET programme, conducted jointly by the Ethiopian government and the UN World Food Programme, meant to improve resilience to drought through environmental rehabilitation. Of interest too is the interview of Allan Savory, founder of the Centre for Holistic Management and the Savory Institute, who sees biodiversity loss as the main cause of desertification and debunks common land management myths. He explains the scientific principles behind his holistic approach to desertification. Finally, the newsletter presents Qatar’s food security programme, meant to tackle chronic water scarcity and exploit arable land in dryland ecosystems to enable self-sufficency in food production.


Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into development planning: A guide for practitioners

By the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative, May 2011.This document provides practical, step-by-step guidance on how governments and other national actors can mainstream climate change adaptation into development planning as part of broader mainstreaming efforts. The guide draws on substantial experience and lessons learned by the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative in working with governments to integrate environmental management for pro-poor economic growth and development into national development planning and decision-making. A good number of examples are related to the agricultural sector in developing countries.


African Young Scientists Initiative on Climate Change and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AYSICCIKS)

The African Young Scientists Initiative on Climate Change and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AYSICCIKS) held Round Table Discussions on the Role of Young Scientists and Indigenous Knowledge Systems on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation at the COP 17 UN Conference on Climate Change. The communiqué can be downloaded below.More information on the AYSICCIKS can be found at


Climate Change and Population Conference on Africa

Dates: 1-4 July 2012Venue: University of Ghana, Legon, GhanaThe Co-Chairs of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Climate Change And Population Conference On Africa under the auspices of the IDRC African Adaptation Research Centre of Excellence Initiative at the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana Legon Accra, is pleased to announce the above stated conference. For more information, visit

Sunday 01 July 2012 - Wednesday 04 July 2012

African Drought Monitor

Monitoring drought globally is challenging because of the lack of dense in-situ hydrologic data in many regions. This is particularly problematic for developing regions such as Africa where water information is arguably most needed, but virtually nonexistent on the ground in many regions. A potential way forward is to use a modelling framework that couples available satellite remote sensing and in-situ information. This results in physically consistent and spatially and temporally continuous estimates of the water cycle and drought. A drought monitor based on this framework and an accompanying web-based user interface have been developed by Princeton University, in collaboration with UNESCO, for operational and research use over Africa. Based on macro scale hydrologic modelling, the system ingests available data to provide a real-time assessment of the water cycle and drought conditions, and puts this in the context of the long-term record back to 1950. The data is made available online for drought research and operational use to augment on-the-ground assessments of drought.


‘Linking African Researchers with Adaptation Policy Spaces’

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Ottawa, Canada, will assist its Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program partners in three countries in East Africa build the capacity of researchers to influence policy. The poor understanding of policy processes tends to reduce the value of research results and the ability of researchers to influence policy. The researchers in this project investigate the complexity of adaptation policy processes in different countries and identify policy spaces; use this knowledge to build policy engagement tools and strategy; develop an analytical framework for investigating climate change adaptation policy processes in Africa; and mentor relationships between participatory action researchers and academic partners. (Source: IDRC, End date of project: 18 Jan 2011)


The CARIWIG project

The Caribbean Weather Impacts Group (CARIWIG) aims to inform policymakers in the Caribbean on the likely impacts of climate change specific to their region. Current weather and climate models appear of limited use in this respect due to scale and bias issues and locally relevant data remains sporadic. CARIWIG will addresses these issues through the provision of locally relevant information on the weather impacts of climate change, training of technical staff, the development of support networks within the region and with UK research institutes. A web service will be developed to provide this service through the adaptation and provision of leading weather-generator models from the EARWIG ( and the UKCIP09 climate knowledge systems.  (CARIWIG, 01/2013)


E-Learning tool: Community based adaptation to climate change

The e-learning tool 'Planning for Community Based Adaptation’ (CBA) to Climate Change' supports training on community-based climate change adaptation in agriculture. The tool links research-based knowledge on climate change impacts with examples and experiences on CBA drawn from FAO field projects and a range of country-specific case studies. The intended outcome of the tool is to assist all actors, who face the challenge of initiating and facilitating adaptation processes at community level.(FAO, 2013)