Climate Information and Communication Backbone: A sine qua non for the NAPCC success

Sep 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Government Policies, India, Information and Communication, M-20 CAMPAIGN, Opinion, Youth Speak

Ms.Suman K ASuman K A : In the earlier article series we saw a strong case for synthesis thinking to draw upon and integrate the perspectives of vulnerability, adaptive social protection and climate smart disaster management approaches to concrete ground level action – both short and long term. Is this thinking being taken seriously and put into practice?

Yes. We think so.

A quick inventory of the world wide trends reveals this in myriad forms in plans collated in the NAPA-PANA database  (the national adaptation action plans in various levels and stages of detailing and execution ), CARE community based adaptation frameworks and  CVCA handbooks , Christian Aid’s  adaptation toolkits, guidance  notes  from the likes of GTZ ( climate information ), USAID ( project level application), World Bank( development programme integration ), UNDP(policy and institutional arrangements), and UK/Australia(climate risk assessment and options generation).

Across all of these, the invisible running thread not highlighted but much needed is the climate information and communication backbone to bridge the climate science with technology interventions, policy, development programmes, capacity and institutional building, mass awareness and grass root action. And more so for a country like India that has embarked on an ambitious climate adaptation programme through its eight missions.

Climate information and communication backbone – What does this look like?  

The Hardware: Dedicated climate change channels akin to the weather channels, the national e-governance infrastructure of community service centers, and mass media (radio, TVs, print ), climate observation stations, computer grid infrastructure – to churn massive amounts of climate data and information, storage.

The Software: circulation models (global, regional and local ), climate research priorities, the global framework for climate information services, down scale applications, grid inter-connection  and user interface architecture, short, medium and long term climate forecasts, technology and policy briefs, development programme models,  toolkits , templates, methodologies and manuals,  capacity building modules, vulnerability maps, scenario generators, modeling tools, community input capturing tools and climate datasets.

The Enablers:  climate information and innovation brokers and mechanisms, dedicated innovation centers and centers of excellence, knowledge portals, learning alliances, mission mode programmes, appropriate capacity, partnership-models, cluster based interventions, political will, funding, facilitation, inter and intra state collaboration and coordination , mass awareness campaigns, politico-legal-policy-institutional stakeholder matrices and social mobilization pilots, catalytic institutions, market pull and a new class of climate solution providers.

What might work for the success of India’s NAPCC?

We think several and complementary approaches would work; Top down and bottom up. As an example we quote – Indian centric climate research and development agenda , India –EU Grid expansion with interconnection of all the adaptation research supporting institutions, specialized climate institutions, existing institutions with dedicated climate centers of excellence, network of local climate observatories, opening up of the IMD weather datasets, mission mode down scale application development, a federated institutional structure of social mobilization (being adopted in the National Rural Livelihood Mission Programme), climate adaptation programme components in current development programmes, state and region specific adaptation policies ( Orissa exemplar), sector specific  pilot adaptation programmes (National Implementation of Climate Resilient Agriculture), deep and wide youth and development practitioners engagement , extensive use of community service centers  and mass media, vernacular actionable climate forecasts, political will ,appropriate budget funding ,market demand for climate products and services and a new breed of enablers sans corruption!

Climate change is a serious challenge to India. Adaptation solutions are to be here and now and mitigation solutions far; across the hardware, software and enablement dimensions for lasting impact.  Sufficient bandwidth must be created for a broad spectrum of players for them to all emerge.

Thank you Ms Jayanthi and the NAPCC.

I hope you are listening to the posts here and are happy to consider kick starting a nationwide campaign to help our country understand what NAPCC is all about, its guiding principles and actions to date…

…And the India IT Inc; I hope you are listening too and ready to ride the next wave of climate solutions opportunities?


About Author: Suman K A wrote this article for Climate Himalaya’s Youth Leaders Speak Column. An Engineer by training Suman has great interest in climate change and mountain issues. She is the founder of Change Planet Partners foundation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s team.


Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

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One Comment to “Climate Information and Communication Backbone: A sine qua non for the NAPCC success”

  1. Pabitra Mukhopadhyay says:

    Very comprehensive write up. However, I’ll keep my fingers crossed till such highly structured management approaches are percolated down to mass – both intellectually and functionally. Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, IMO, will largely depend in India on mass participation and for that awareness building is of primary importance. I recall ex-Minister of Environment, Sri Jairam Ramesh saying “It (the Action Plan) was put together by a large number of experts sitting in Delhi, thinking that they knew what the country knows best for climate change..” 3
    That may not be a populist quote at all.

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