Agrometeorologists for farmers in hotter, drier, wetter future

Climate change projections show us a future where temperatures and variability in precipitation are likely to be higher, resulting in more extreme events such as floods and droughts. This poses immense challenges to the agricultural sector, which will need to adapt their practices to climate extremes.

To better meet the challenges that lie ahead, the workshop “Agrometeorologists for farmers in hotter, drier, wetter future” was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 9 to 10 November. It focused on agrometeorologists from Central and Southern European Countries. Organized by the Slovenian Environment Agency, Meteorological Office with support from the Solco W. Tromp foundation and WMO, it was attended by 45 participants from Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

The workshop was aimed at enhancing networking among agrometeorologists and institutions, sharing examples of good practice in service delivery, identifying problems and gaps in knowledge and existing practices, and collecting recommendations for future research, development.

Keynote speakers came from the European Environment Agency, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Vienna University of Technology, Italian National Research Council, and VITO remote sensing processing enterprise. The National Meteorological Services of Morocco, Romania, Ireland, Israel, Serbia and Slovenia delivered presentations covering climate change projections in agriculture, remote sensing earth observations, risk management of climate and weather hazards, irrigation management practices, country experiences in Western and Eastern Europe and Northern Africa from reference institutions, and the use of modelling in decision-making and regional structures. Participants also had the opportunity to deliver national presentations and engage in a debate on recommendations for agricultural meteorology in the region.

The workshop is a good example of how cooperation between private foundations, UN organizations, European institutions and National Meteorological Services can yield benefits for sectors impacted by climate variability and change.

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