This study validates local forecast indicators used by indigenous Aymara in Bolivia’s Northern and Central Altiplano. In Bolivia, the use of traditional forecasting methods is declining even though climate services cannot provide useful forecasts because of a low density of stations and lack outreach services. Validating local knowledge can reduce the erosion of local knowledge by resolving debates over their utility within communities and by gaining support of public agencies charged with promoting indigenous knowledge. The research had three phases, first key informants identified forecast indicators, then 95 farmers were asked to evaluate their reliability. In the North, four indicators were rated as highly reliable and in the Central region, three. Finally, a seasonal forecast indicator and two indicators of the onset of rains were evaluating using historical meteorological data. The seasonal indicator was the minimum temperature on the Fiesta de San Juan, and the rainy season onset was the flowering pattern of two plant species. The minimum temperature explained 55.5% of the variance in growing season precipitation. Flowering patterns are affected by severe frosts, and there was a correlation between frosts and later rains. Results show local knowledge’s potential for improving agrometeorological forecasts and for managing weather-related risks.
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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- forecast skills
- indigenous knowledge
- local knowledge