Indigenous Climate Forecasting Services for Improved Adaptation: The Case of Borana Herders, Southern Ethiopia Desalegn Se...
Presentation outline 
1.Title 
2.Background and Justification 
3.Purpose of the Research 
4.Research site and Methodology ...
Background and Justification 
Indigenous climate forecasting system is dynamic and is built on observation and long years ...
Purpose of the Research 
•This research assess the nature of biotic and abiotic Borana climate forecasting systems 
•Evalu...
Study area Cont’
Methodology 
Data source and method of Collection 
•Interview of indigenous forecast experts, 
•FGD with selected herders ...
Abiotic and Biotic Climate Forecast indicators 
In Borana climate forecast is made using 
•Plant body language readings 
•...
Mode of acquiring the Climate Forecasting Skill 
•Making climate forecast based on star alignment and intestinal reading r...
Abiotic Climate Forecasting Indicators 
•Traditional astrologists are able to forecast the upcoming rainfall onset, cessat...
Star-Moon Alignment
Astrological Alignment
Biotic Indicators :Animal body language 
•A future drought is forecasted if cattle display the following behaviors 
•If th...
Biotic Indicators :Animal body language Con’t 
•The behavior of wild animals and insects such as activities of termites an...
Biotic Indicators :Plant body language 
Figure 1 Tedecha (acacia) tree 
Figure 2 Ret (Aloe) tree
Intestinal Reading
System of Disseminating Climate Forecasts 
•The Urgi Elaltus and Uchus are in charge of forecasting climate and disseminat...
System of Disseminating Climate Forecasts Cont’ 
•Alternatively, information is announced in market places, water points a...
Socio-Economic Preparations in View of Expected Drought 
•They stop sawing crops for a harvesting year 
•Strengthen area e...
Herders attitude about ICFS 
0 
20 
40 
60 
80 
100 
120 
Wake feta 
Christian 
Muslim 
Right practice 
Wrong practice
The Credibility of Traditional Climate Forecasting 
•The precision and credibility of all modes of traditional climate for...
Comparison of forecasting and level of mismatches with Recorded data drought assessment 
Match Mismatch 
Abiotic indicator...
Socio-Economic Preparations in View of Expected Drought 
•They stop sawing crops for a harvesting year 
•Strengthen area e...
Recommendation 
•Before traditional climate forecasting completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to ...
Thank You !
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Indigenous climate forecasting services for improved adaptation the case of borana herders

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The value attached to traditional climate forecasting appears to be on the decline thanks to climate variability and other factors. This study calls for remedial action to prevent irreversible loss of intangible cultural heritage.The study was conducted by scientists from Managing Risks for Improved Livelihoods in Ethiopia through support of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Read more about the study: http://ow.ly/AVAyq

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Indigenous climate forecasting services for improved adaptation the case of borana herders

  1. 1. Indigenous Climate Forecasting Services for Improved Adaptation: The Case of Borana Herders, Southern Ethiopia Desalegn September 1-4/2014
  2. 2. Presentation outline 1.Title 2.Background and Justification 3.Purpose of the Research 4.Research site and Methodology 5.Findings of the research Abiotic and Biotic climate forecasting system Forecast information dissemination Herders attitude to Indigenous forecasting services  Socioeconomic preparations
  3. 3. Background and Justification Indigenous climate forecasting system is dynamic and is built on observation and long years of experience (Ziervogel et al., 2010) Different cultures make use of biotic and or abiotic indicators to forecast about the future climate conditions However, studies show that in recent years the vitality of indigenous climate forecasting mechanisms is declining
  4. 4. Purpose of the Research •This research assess the nature of biotic and abiotic Borana climate forecasting systems •Evaluate the precision and credibility of different indigenous climate forecasting systems
  5. 5. Study area Cont’
  6. 6. Methodology Data source and method of Collection •Interview of indigenous forecast experts, •FGD with selected herders •Overt observation and animal entrails Diagnose •Survey selected households •NMSA rainfall data Method of analysis • thematic content analysis was employed •Drought assessment method that developed by Agnew & Chappel (1999)
  7. 7. Abiotic and Biotic Climate Forecast indicators In Borana climate forecast is made using •Plant body language readings •Animal body language readings •Intestinal reading •Celestial body readings In all forecasting systems there is no special ritual activity or any food or sexual restrictions
  8. 8. Mode of acquiring the Climate Forecasting Skill •Making climate forecast based on star alignment and intestinal reading requires exceptional observation and interpretation skill and Knowledge •Urgi Elaltu and Uchu teach the skill to their eldest son as they received it from their fathers •The skill transfer is preserve only for men
  9. 9. Abiotic Climate Forecasting Indicators •Traditional astrologists are able to forecast the upcoming rainfall onset, cessation and volume at different time scale i.e. ranging from a week –three years Using celestial bodies observations •Forecasting is based on some stars (alignment, apparent movement, size and appearance) •The color of the sun, cloud cover, temperature and wind
  10. 10. Star-Moon Alignment
  11. 11. Astrological Alignment
  12. 12. Biotic Indicators :Animal body language •A future drought is forecasted if cattle display the following behaviors •If they become calm, sleep in the pen very close to one another, bulls lack interest in mating and isolate •E.g. If they show normal sexual desire and the bull visits many cows within a short period of time, they lick each other’s body
  13. 13. Biotic Indicators :Animal body language Con’t •The behavior of wild animals and insects such as activities of termites and squirrel (Tuka), seasonal migration of bees, the varying tones of hyena screaming and bird song also used for climate forecasting
  14. 14. Biotic Indicators :Plant body language Figure 1 Tedecha (acacia) tree Figure 2 Ret (Aloe) tree
  15. 15. Intestinal Reading
  16. 16. System of Disseminating Climate Forecasts •The Urgi Elaltus and Uchus are in charge of forecasting climate and disseminating information, but do not have an obligation to do so and are not paid •The Urgi Elaltus and Uchus communicates climate information to community elders and heads of Geda who then disseminate it by summoning people for urgent meetings
  17. 17. System of Disseminating Climate Forecasts Cont’ •Alternatively, information is announced in market places, water points and village settlements • Interested people can personally go to the houses of experts and ask for climate information so that their contacts can receive and transfer the same information •DAs and NGOs also disseminate the forecast information
  18. 18. Socio-Economic Preparations in View of Expected Drought •They stop sawing crops for a harvesting year •Strengthen area enclosure through community bylaw • Saving water and grass •Storing hay •Migrating with animals (water and pasture) •Destocking animals •Changing reduce expenditure and schedules for social and cultural festivities such as wedding •Individual and group praying
  19. 19. Herders attitude about ICFS 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Wake feta Christian Muslim Right practice Wrong practice
  20. 20. The Credibility of Traditional Climate Forecasting •The precision and credibility of all modes of traditional climate forecast steadily declining due to repeated faulty predictions •However, still there are Elaltus’ who commands high respect among the Borana herders (e.g. Kalicha Qoncher) •The number of traditional climate forecaster (experts) have decreased over time in their localities
  21. 21. Comparison of forecasting and level of mismatches with Recorded data drought assessment Match Mismatch Abiotic indicator forecast vs. instrumental record 50% 50% Biotic indicator forecast vs. instrumental record 21.5% 78.5% Between abiotic and biotic indicators forecasts 60.7% 39.3%
  22. 22. Socio-Economic Preparations in View of Expected Drought •They stop sawing crops for a harvesting year •Strengthen area enclosure through community bylaw • Saving water and grass •preparing livestock medicine • Store hay •Migrating with animals (water and pasture) •Destocking animals •Changing schedules for social and cultural festivities such as wedding or reduce expenditure •Individual and group praying
  23. 23. Recommendation •Before traditional climate forecasting completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to prevent irreversible loss of intangible cultural heritage •The scientific community, the government and other stakeholders should examine the main causes for the declining quality of indigenous climate forecasting practices.
  24. 24. Thank You !

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