1st NATIONAL WINTER FORUM
‘1st National Winter Forum’ served as a forum for open discussion and collaboration on generating and applying multi-hazard risk information. This forum took place on 8 November 2021 at Zizzi Banquet Hall, Hotel Platinum Grands, Banani, Dhaka. Bangladesh.
In collaboration with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) organized the program. Seasonal review of forecast-based, anticipatory preparedness plans and how these can be improved for future seasons was the focus of the forum for sectoral stakeholders.
A co-production workshop at BMD as part of the ARRCC program-Strengthening Climate Information Partnership In South Asia (SCIPSA) work package, RIMES, UK Met Office, and BMD prompted the need to hold a winter forum in addition to the monsoon forum. As a primary goal, it was envisioned that the system would generate multi-hazard, multi-time scale risk information to aid in disaster risk reduction and user sector capacity building.
In response to this, for the first time, the winter forum was held semi-virtually (due to the COVID-19 situation), but with the physical presence of national stakeholders in the room to facilitate discussion.
Honurable Director, Md. Azizur Rahman, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Dhaka, was present as the Chief Guest, and Raihanul Haque Khan, RIMES Bangladesh Country Program Lead, presided over the program.
Dr. Md. Shah Kamal Khan, Project Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Dr . Md.Mofazzel Hossain, CSO, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Dr. Md. Ferdous Rahman Sarker, SSO, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, meteorologists from Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), representatives from Civil Aviation Authority, Department of Agricultural Extension representatives, and RIMES members participated in the forum.
Govindarajalu Srinivasan, Chief Climate Scientist, RIMES, and Daniel Ryan, Senior International Development Manager, Met Office, participated via video conference.
Raihanul Haque Khan, RIMES Bangladesh Country Program Lead, welcomed all the participants and convened the meeting with the permission of honorable session chair Md. Azizur Rahman, Director, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Dhaka.
The Director of BMD, Md. Azizur Rahman kept his opening remarks focused on the importance of the forum and its goal of disaster risk reduction. He expressed his appreciation to RIMES for its unwavering support over the years, particularly for the initiative Decision-Support-System by RIMES. Govindarajalu Srinivasan, Chief Climate Scientist, RIMES, stated that this forum is a landmark for both users and generators. Daniel Ryan, Senior International Development Manager, Met Office, mentioned user sector capacity building for climate change adaptation and resilience in his remarks.
S, M Quamrul Hasan, Meteorologist, BMD, presented the seasonal climate outlook for the 2021-2022 Winter. He discussed the use of various modeling tools during his presentation, such as GPCs, CPT/PyCPT, Enacts data.
Attendees took part in an open discussion on the Winter Outlook, Application of forecasts, and Advisories during 2020-2021. Participants raised important issues during the open- discussion and suggested ways to improve climate risk information generation and application. The key observations and recommendations are as follows:
Dr. Md Mofazzel Hossain, CSO, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), placed a strong emphasis on determining which model performs the best in adverse weather. He also stated the importance of providing early warnings to land planners in flash flood-prone areas in order to avoid costly delays. A crop sector includement in the Decision-Support-System was suggested by him.
S, M Quamrul Hasan, Meteorologist, BMD, recommends checking the daily, monthly, and seasonal forecasts to get a better sense of the weather. Dr. Md Shah Kamal Khan, Project Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, expressed solidarity with him.
In the event of an extreme winter weather event, Md Bazlur Rashid, Meteorologist, BMD, stated that the forecast should be updated for the benefit of farmers. According to S, M Quamrul Hasan, A 10-day forecast should be checked in case of extreme weather.
Participants shared their valuable insights on forecast application and sectoral planning for the 2020-2021 winter season.
Mr. Hamidur Rahman, the Director, The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, emphasized the importance of forecasting application in livestock preservation. He cited the case of a ten-lakh-taka-worth cow that died in Cumilla, Bangladesh, as an example of improper forecasting. He continued by stating that the application of advisories is ideal for livestock extension and management.
Dr. Susmita Dash proposed including a farmer representative on the advisory committee. S, M Quamrul Hasan endorsed this proposal, stating from personal experience that connecting with farmers can provide good forecast feedback.
Mr Hamidur Rahman, the Director, The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, inquired about the creation of a simple, common platform that allows users to view and get a sense of seasonal, monthly, and daily forecasts from a single forecast. Additionally, he suggested that environmental conditions (for example, the COVID-19 situation) be incorporated into deep learning and artificial neural networks.
The delegation, S, M Quamrul Hasan, Meteorologist, BMD responding to the question of the common platform, said that current models and webpages are limited in their capabilities.
Later he talked of the Decision-Support -System by RIMES in which all information will be integrated in one place.
Raihanul Haque Khan, RIMES Bangladesh Country Program Lead, showed gratitude to everyone for their insightful suggestions and constructive feedback. He concluded the session expressing his hope to implement the recommendations for enhancing forecast information generation and applications.