Abstract

Traditional calendars document seasonal cycles and the communities' relationships to their biophysical environment and are often used by communities, particularly subsistence farmers, to synchronise their livelihood activities with the timing of ecological processes. As the timing of these ecological processes is not always consistent from year to year, the use of traditional seasonal calendars can help communities cope with climate variability, particularly when biophysical phenomena become less predictable in relation to the Gregorian calendar, as has been observed in relation to climate change. Although the structure and content of seasonal calendars varies across the Pacific, for many indigenous communities, knowledge of seasonal calendars can increase their capacity to cope with climate variability and change. To increase the effectiveness of their products and enhance their relevance to and uptake by the community, several Pacific meteorological services are now using traditional seasonal calendars in their climate communication and education, including in forecasts and warnings. The use of a participatory approach resulted in strong relationships and improved dialogues. Local communities appreciated assistance in enabling their knowledge to become available to future generations and its inclusion in meteorological service products makes these products more accessible and relevant to community members.

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