thethirdpole.net has been part of a pioneering new project to train local radio broadcasters to understand and report on climate change.
The Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh state in central India is one of India’s poorest and most arid regions; it has experienced nine severe droughts our of the last 15 years.
Local changes in temperature and rainfall have left farmers struggling with water shortages, crop failures and new diseases among domestic animals. Scientists predict higher temperatures, increased frequency of drought and heavy flooding over the next decades.
There is plenty of climate data available and research that shows simple adaptation actions – such as changing crop varieties or planting times, improved water conservation, and agro forestry – could greatly reduce these climate change impacts. But transmitting this information to India’s smallholder farmers is a bigger challenge.
We teamed up with NGO Development Alternatives to help local radio broadcasters to report on local climate change impacts and share new research with communities – in a way that is accessible and useful –to help farmers develop adapt their agricultural practices.
Radio is still the most popular form of media among poorer communities in Madhya Pradesh and so is the best way to ensure vital information trickles down to farmers; it also provides a way for farmers to share their experiences and their own adaptation strategies with other villages and local decision makers.
Read about Joydeep Gupta’s experience of leading the training workshops here.
Four local radio stations participated in training workshops in October and November, and the sessions were enthusiastically received. The radio programmes produced by broadcasters are available in Hindi below, or you can read English-transcripts .
Here are some articles by project paticipants:
Other partners involved in the project include: Humanitarian Futures Programme, Institute for Development Studies (IDS), and the Environment Planning and Coordination Organisation, Government of Madhya Pradesh.