National FOREWARN launches in Bangladesh and the Philippines
Start Fund Bangladesh members and Start Network members in the Philippines have launched national FOREWARN groups enabling them to use local expertise, forecasts and resources to act before a predictable crisis hits within country.
The Forecast-based Warning, Analysis and Response Network (FOREWARN) was established in April 2016 by the Start Fund as global group made up of a wide network of interdisciplinary experts and a number of hazard and thematic sub groups. Bringing together forecasting information providers with humanitarians, it seeks to better link and align the way that academic and humanitarian communities look at critical issues of risk analysis, forecasting and crisis anticipation in order to provide more timely, effective and appropriate support to crisis affected communities.
With the evolution of global FOREWARN and Start Network's vision to decentralise and localise decision making it has become increasingly apparent that for anticipation and early action to be operationalised and contextually relevant, forecast-based decision making needs to be happening at the local level. Expert advice needs to be sought from the ground up, not vice versa, establishing the rational for national FOREWARN.
In a signing ceremony which took place last week, Start Fund Bangladesh marked the launching of its national FOREWARN group in a partnership between Start Network and the Bangladesh Academy of Climate Services (BACS) [a joint initiative by Columbia University International Research Institute (IRI) and International Centre for Climate change and Development (ICCCAD)]. The partnership is the first step to facilitating the localisation of the FOREWARN model which will eventually expand and engage relevant stakeholders. National FOREWARN in the Philippines will be coordinated by Care Philippines.
Rabeya Sultan, Chair of the Start Fund Bangladesh Committee said: “I hope this platform, under the leadership of BACS and Start Network, will create a pool of analysts at local and national levels, and will take our humanitarian experiences and endeavour to the next level. As a humanitarian community, we will act collectively to be more proactive and faster in reaching the communities and stand beside communities to strengthen their resilience to shocks and crises.”
The national FOREWARN group hopes to evolve and extend the global model to a Bangladeshi context with its own national community of forecasting information providers and humanitarians, who will be able to draw on all the available resources, relationships and expertise of the global FOREWARN as they build the structure and tools they need to support forecast based early action in Bangladesh.
Director of ICCCAD, Saleemul Haq said: "Bangladesh being one of the most disaster prone developing countries which is going to get worse with human induced climate change, it is extremely important to enhance the abilities of our vulnerable communities to anticipate and take timely action to minimise the damage from climatic events. On behalf of ICCCAD I am extremely pleased that we are joining the Forewarn initiative to provide targeted climate information to vulnerable communities in a timely manner to enable them to take actions in time."
In line with Starts Network's vision to decentralise, and uphold the key pillars of new financing, collective innovation and localisation – the national FOREWARN projects in the Philippines and Bangladesh bring contextually appropriate expertise of early action to the network.