DHMS: The hydro-met services department will provide detailed and reliable monsoon forecast for specific sectors to prepare their plans and activities accordingly by the next monsoon.

The five priority sectors are agriculture and food security, water, energy, disaster risk reduction, and health. The decision came after the first three-day national climate outlook forum and stakeholders’ consultation in Thimphu that ended yesterday.

Preparing for the next monsoon, officials from various sectors met with hydro-met service department to propose on their climatic services needs.

Participants from the sectors using climate services such as forecasts and other information discussed on the present situation and future service needs from the department.

Deputy executive engineer Tayba Buddha Tamang said the first National Climate Outlook Forum was to assist sectors in better applying climate information within their decision and policy-making processes as well as providing feedback on the needs of specific sectors.

He said the programme was one of the activities under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), which guides the development and application of science-based climate information and services.

“We never had such dialogue between the service provider and users so there were lots of mismatch in what we provided and what they needed,” he said.

Since 2013, the department issued climatic outlook of monsoon through the media, early warning on flood, and services related to climate change.

Some of the proposals include climate change projection, projection of downscaled climate because of the lack of reservoirs, data accuracy and long and short-term data, and accessibility, among others.

Tayba Buddha Tamang said that the proposals would serve as a basis for the department to improve on its services and satisfy the service users.

“About 72 percent of the rainfall occurs from June to September and that is also the season for disasters, so we’d provide the sectors with various services to help tackle them,” he said.

During the consultation participants pointed out many capacity development needs of the sectors to use the climate services, and drew out an action plan.

The department would try to study the proposals and will work to meet their information needs.

The deputy executive engineer said that the proposals would be submitted to the technical committee in the National Environment Commission to draw out long and short-term terms of reference.

However, the department is bogged with problems of human resource and capacity in terms of infrastructure.

The Agro-met section is not fully established as yet and the aviation meteorology is not merged with the department. The department also lacks specifically trained staff on agro-met and climatology.

The department will inaugurate the national weather and flood forecasting and warning centre next month.

Tshering Palden