Over 100 automated weather forecast and warning system established in 20 districts

Sep 8, 2018

Bhutan is well-known for its water-induced disasters. Bhutan is highly exposed to hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, flash-floods, landslides, glacier lake outburst floods, windstorms, and cyclones.

In the past 10 years, the country has seen several significant water-induced disasters. Of which, three major events are crucial; Cyclone Aila in 2009 induced floods; the Lemthang Lake outburst in 2015 caused flood and; the 2016 southern Bhutan monsoon floods.

Change in the precipitation have also had consequences on the availability of water for drinking, agriculture and energy production. Climate change has resulted in an increase on the frequency and intensity of major hydro-meteorological hazards.

Records show that monsoon brings torrential rains from June to September, the monsoon rains account for 70% of the country’s annual rainfall.

In Bhutan, over half of the population depend on agriculture as a source of income. However, this dependency has been put under extreme pressure from climate change. As a result of climate change, weather patterns have been erratic, because of which, there has been frequent delays in the onset of monsoon and untimely rain during paddy harvest have caused crop damages all over the country.

Bhutan’s journey on climate data shift with the new weather forecasting system came as a very timely intervention. With UNDP and Global Environment Facility’s support, and in partnership with National Environment Commission and National Hydrology and Meteorology Centre, Royal Government of Bhutan, has installed more than 100 automated weather forecast and warning system across the country, that has enhanced the national capacity to provide real time advisory on flood warning and weather forecast.

The system has also helped facilitate the monitoring of the impact of climate change on high altitude snow coverage essential for Bhutan’s ecosystems and economic development, and serve farmers and communities alike with the information they need to plan their crop cycle.

 

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Notes to the editor:

The NAPA II weather forecasting system investment contributes to Bhutan’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 13 Climate Action and Goal 15 Life on Land, with impacts across the other goals, including Goal 1 No Poverty and Goal 2 No Hunger For more information on the project please contact Ugyen Dorji, UNDP Bhutan, Ugyen.dorji@undp.org or visit http://www.undp.org/content/bhutan/en/home/operations/projects/ccaprojectlist/1--national-adaptation-programme-of-action--napa--ii.html

Given the impact of climate change on Bhutan’s agricultural sector, Bhutan’s first project bid to the Green Climate Fund later this year will focus on Smart Agriculture. More information on the project concept can be found here: http://www.bt.undp.org/content/bhutan/en/home/library/environment_energy/

For more information on UNDP-GEF support to reducing risks from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods, please visit:  http://www.undp.org/content/bhutan/en/home/ourwork/ccaadaptationanddrr/successstories/glofprevention.html

For more information on UNDP’s work in Bhutan, please visit: www.undp.org.bt

 

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