On 20 October 2016, Wageningen Environmental Research (Claire Jacobs, Karianne de Bruin and intern Job de Zeeuw) together with the Fondazione CMCC (Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici) organised a SECTEUR workshop in Cagliari, Italy about the use climate information in agriculture and forestry.
The workshop 'Food and forests at risk: how can climate services help?' was held as part of the Società Italiana per le Scienze del Clima (SISC) Conference on Climate Challenges and Solutions under the 2°C target. It attracted an audience of scientists, policy and decision makers, international organisations such as FAO, and other stakeholders whose activities are focused on climate change and its relationship with the environment, agriculture, forestry and socio-economic systems.
Participants were asked to identify the types of climate information they are using and what the current bottlenecks are for use. They were also asked to describe the chain of information (use cases). This was discussed in detail during a plenary session. Several common use cases were identified, from which a selection will be made for further development in a next phase where the scientific constraints and market potential of the climate information types will be assessed:
- Fire risk management and prevention
Use of climate indicators for mapping of fire danger, meeting the fire suppression directive, and protection of community forests.
- Forest management (reforestation, afforestation)
Use of climate information to investigate species of forest trees that fit climate requirements, for choice of most suitable forest species for successful re-afforestation.
- Crop growth monitoring
Use of observations for climate projections that serve as input for crop models to prepare maps of crop production for regional planning activities.
- Water demand
Use of evapotranspiration to define crop water requirement, identify critical moments and analyse conflicts with other water users to provide advice to irrigation consortia.
The findings of the workshop will be used to better understand the information needs within the sector as well as to identify existing information gaps. This will be input for the Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S) platform that is currently being developed by ECMWF to provide free climate information for Europe.
A follow-up workshop will be organised in March 2017 in the Netherlands.