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REPORT: Community Grassroots and Climate Change Communication: Mapping Grassroots Experiences of the ‘Shubh Kal’ Project in Bundelkhand, Central India

Communities in climate sensitive regions face several vulnerabilities making climate change communication at the grassroots extremely challenging. Lacking strategic information about climate change adaptation options, few are aware about government schemes and remain poorly linked to scientists, scientific knowledge and policy makers. Communicating scientific information in a simplified manner that is appropriate to local stakeholder needs and socio cultural context remains critical for adoption of sustainable adaptation solutions. Failure to meaningfully engage existing local institutions that allow for dialogue and exchange between scientists, local government officials, policy makers and community members further compounds the problem. These huge gaps in climate change knowledge sharing have resulted in adaptation information failing to reach the most vulnerable communities and lack of grassroots perspectives and voice in policy development.

It is crucial to bring grassroots voices and priorities on climate change and development to the attention of the scientists and the policy makers. This brief, Community Grassroots and Climate Change Communication: Mapping Grassroots Experiences of the ‘Shubh Kal’ Project in Bundelkhand, Central India, presents experiences of a pilot project by the name of Shubh Kal (a better future): from information to knowledge and action in which an innovative communication model using community radios to bridge the knowledge gap between communities, scientists and policy makers has been tested in the drought prone, climate sensitive region of Bundelkhand in Central India. The paper explores results of the pilot initiative in building capacities of radio reporters in climate change journalism and analyses the role of radio reporters in strengthening community knowledge and voice on climate change adaptation on one hand and increasing awareness of the scientific community, local government authorities and policy makers on how climate change is impacting local development on the other hand.

Further reading:

Project homepage: Shubh Kal (a better future): from information to knowledge and action
Research paper: Addressing the information and knowledge needs of farmers to enable climate change adaptation – A study of Bundelkhand region in Central India
Research paper: Use of Seasonal Forecast Information in Farm Level Decision Making in Bundelkhand, India