Indigenous weather and climate forecasting indicators offer important information to facilitate adaptation to climate and weather variability. Dynamic processes involved with linking modern meteorological climate and weather forecasting with traditional Indigenous approaches, point to opportunities for the co-production of knowledge.
Among farmers and pastoralists in Eastern Africa, Indigenous weather forecasting indicators are varied and can incorporate meteorological and astrological components. Forecasting seasonal climate change at the local level is crucial for farmers and pastoralists, and Indigenous “traditional weather and climate forecasting remains the most accessible and affordable source of weather and climate information.” For example, the Afar pastoralists from the Horn of Africa predict climate and weather changes by observing behaviours and indicators from trees, insects, animals, birds, and livestock and triangulate this traditional information with scientific information from modern sources. Afar pastoralists use a system of three different traditional approaches to “collect, share and analyse” climate and weather information gathered from both scientific and traditional sources. The system consists of information gathered from traditional scouts on rangelands (the Edo); a traditional network for secure and reliable information sharing and exchange (the Dagu); and the traditional Afar governance system (the Adda) to facilitate information analysis prior to community decision making.
Creating synergies between Local Indigenous Knowledge on weather forecasting and modern scientific meteorological methods can meet the short-term and long-term climate information needs of local Indigenous farmers to support their decision making to adapt to climate change.
By Leela Viswanathan
(Image Credit: Alfred Quartey, Unsplash)