Update from Hume Centre for Ecology, March 2024

Halo every one

This is an update from Hume Centre for Ecology

Hume Centre is a Rainmatter Partner since August 2022. The Centre focus on Climate Action, Ecosystem and Wildlife Conservation, Sustainable Food systems and Science education .We work with communities to build climate resilience through science-based solutions in a climate vulnerable district Wayanad of Kerala and most recently into Malabar region.

Climate change is an undeniable reality, and fostering resilience within local communities stands out as a crucial strategy to reduce the impacts of climate change at the regional and local levels. The support from the Rainmatter Foundation is focused on building community resilience amid climate change. This involves implementing a micro-level weather forecasting system, continuing community-level climate data collection, and establishing a comprehensive database on emerging climate-sensitive zoonotic diseases. Simultaneously, the aim is to sensitize local panchayats to devise development projects for effective management. The initiative also includes climate education initiatives targeting the public and children, with the goal of building a robust community climate managers network. Additionally, a systematic monitoring platform for human-animal interactions are also a focus for facilitating localized mitigation project development.


  1. To equip the local community to understand the local climate variations through scientific methods and to monitor climate at local level

  2. To make granular level rain forecast available for general public, farmers and local planners

  3. To equip the community and local panchayats to prepare themselves to reduce disaster risks

  4. To build a network of community climate volunteers to systematically monitor various climate indicators

  5. To monitor and build a database on zoonotic diseases in Wayanad for future planning of mitigation strategies in the context of climate change

  6. To build an online human animal conflict monitoring platform and generation of geospatial data on it.

In the upcoming phase, priority is to upscale the hyper local southwest monsoon rainfall forecasting to more sensitive areas and vulnerable communities. This involves developing mobile apps and an online portal for real-time data collection, synthesis, and dissemination, bolstering early warning systems. Focus extends to installation of river flow measurement units, automated weather stations, and soil temperature/moisture mechanisms. Climate education programs will be initiated for the public and children, with the ultimate goal of constructing a resilient community Climate Managers and Climate Cadets network.

The Climate Cadet program, aimed at educating children about climate change, has now been extended to 24 schools, including three out of the five Model Residential Schools and an additional three tribal hamlets. Through this program, we directly engage with 360 students, empowering them as climate cadets.

A session on Climate Change and Monsoon was conducted in all 27 schools for the climate cadets. Additionally, a Monsoon handbook was distributed to students, providing comprehensive information about monsoon patterns, clouds, and related information.

Practical skills are also being imparted, with students learning to measure rainfall using rain gauges and temperature using thermometers in their respective schools. Impressively, 25 schools are actively providing regular updates on temperature and rainfall data.

About 130 Climate Diaries are distributed to the climate cadets in 10 schools. These diaries serve as a tool for fostering their creative expression. Cadets can write or draw anything related to the environment or climate that they observe each day. This process allows them to better understand their interests.

Weekly Climate Cadets Council meetings are held at each school, where students discuss various problems related to climate change identified in their surroundings. The program also includes weekly reading and discussions of science articles, specifically focused on climate, selected by our team.

A map showing the locations of schools selected for the Climate Cadets program
children learn how to measure rainfall and temperature

The Climate Cadet Meeting, aimed at empowering children to address climate change at individual, household, and community levels, drew 68 enthusiastic participants. The session covered an overview of the Climate Cadet project, outlined planned activities for the academic year, and provided technical guidance on organizing school-level meetings. Emphasis was placed on the importance of collecting data during the monsoon season to understand climate patterns.

Instructions were given on preparing meeting minutes, coordinating monsoon period activities, and understanding climate and weather conditions, with a focus on monsoon rainfall. Detailed explanations about rain patterns in Wayanad deepened the cadets’ understanding of local weather phenomena, equipping them to make informed decisions in response to climate challenges.

An interactive class delved into various aspects of the monsoon, including rain types, patterns, River water monitoring, cloud formations and conservation of wetland dependent species. Students actively participated, sharing experiences and perspectives. Master Aravindan from Odapallam school offered practical insights into rainfall calculation and reporting strategies. The importance of regularly reporting rainfall and temperature data for accurate weather forecasting and climate analysis was underscored.


A student-led Children’s Climate Parliament was convened, bringing together 100 representatives from 15 School Climate Councils across Wayanad district to share their perspectives on climate change and local issues. The students were tasked with preparing performances related to climate change, drawing from the information they had gathered through climate change sessions organized at their schools. Additionally, the leaders of the Climate Cadet Council at each school, who had participated in the Tierra Eco Theatre workshop, were asked to contribute to the performances by sharing the knowledge they gained from the workshop. Performances were conducted by the climate cadets, covering diverse topics such as waste management, water conservation, climate change mitigation, and sustainable agriculture.


***Presidential address of Climate Cadet meeting ***

Climate Cadet receiving best parliamentarian award from District Panchayath President


Community plays a crucial role in the pre-disaster stages, serving as the primary responder to any disaster. The significance of educating them cannot be overstated. Therefore, a pre-monsoon session was organized to provide farmers with capacity building and awareness before the onset of the monsoon. During the discussion, farmers expressed the challenges they face in agriculture due to climate change. A majority of our farmers are elderly individuals, but there are a few students actively measuring rainfall on a daily basis. In recognition of their valuable contribution, we presented them with gifts.


The role of Community Climate Managers involves systematic monitoring and support for farmers and citizen scientists in data collection. They would ensure data accuracy, foster connections through regional WhatsApp groups, and facilitate collaboration with local governing bodies. Additionally, these managers would raise awareness about both global and local climate changes, sharing vital information with the public.

Taking the first step towards this initiative, the Hume Centre organized a district-level program to train Community Climate Managers. This program brought together 50 participants, with the goal of functioning as Climate managers from each panchayat



Presently, we have a total of 180 rain gauges and 70 thermometers installed across Wayanad District. The following maps illustrate the distribution and count of the installed rain gauges and thermometers



To expand our weather monitoring efforts in the Malabar region of Kerala, we installed nine rain gauges in Calicut, particularly along the Thamarassery Ghats (Wayanad Ghats), and ten rain gauges and three thermometers in Kannur districts. This initiative was made possible with the assistance of civil defence volunteers from Mukkam Fire and Safety Force, Churam Samrakshana Samithi, and various colleges.

Distributing rain gauges to Churam Samrakshana Samithi


The 5th edition of the Wayanad Climate Resilient Agricultural Calendar was developed by the Hume Centre, Tapco Agri Producer Company, Key Stone Foundation, and Nattarivu Study Centre. The calendar’s objective is to assist Wayanad farmers in adapting to climate change and promoting the cultivation of traditional rice seeds, tubers, and organic farming practices. Farmers and meteorologists worked together to create this resource, focusing on sharing organic farming knowledge, particularly related to the maturation of tuber crops and vegetables. It also places special emphasis on traditional rice crops in Wayanad, as well as crops like Yam, Sorghum, Greater Yam, and other essential varieties.



Hume Centre was part of the second phase of the Tribal Disaster Management Project, implemented by the Wayanad District Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with the State Disaster Management Authority. The project aimed to distribute rain gauges and provide training on measuring rainfall using them. This training was offered to the Emergency Response Team (ERT) members belonging to the Scheduled Tribes in three taluks of the Wayanad district. Sixty people from these three taluks participated in the training program.

Hume Centre Director, speaks in the meeting of the Tribal disaster management project launching organized by District Administration Wayanad and District Disaster Management Authority(DDMA)

Daily soil temperature readings in both open and shaded areas of the Kalpetta region are recorded to monitor temperature patterns, as these fluctuations significantly impact agriculture and ecosystem health.


The Tierra Theatre and Performance workshop for Climate Cadets took place at the Begur forest dormitory in Tholpetty. The workshop gathered 59 young participants, aged between 12 and 18, who came from diverse backgrounds, representing various cultures, educational levels, geographical locations, and political views. The workshop immersed the children in the world of theatre and performance with a profound purpose: to raise awareness about the urgent need for climate action. It provided a unique space for introspection, enabling children to examine their relationship with the environment and their roles in a world grappling with the climate crisis.



A household survey was conducted in Wayanad district to map spillover diseases and their associated hosts. A total of 4,162 surveys were conducted across Wayanad district, gathering information about human-animal interactions and zoonotic diseases that occurred within the past 10 years. Financial and social data were collected from respondents to ensure representation of all community groups in the study area and to understand the impact of human-animal interactions on various demographics and their financial well-being. Information about the proximity of the closest wildlife reserves to the respondents’ locations was also collected. GPS coordinates and altitude of each household were recorded for spatial mapping, especially to identify households situated in potential interface zones at risk of disease spillover.


An awareness class on zoonotic diseases was conducted for 14 students from various schools in Wayanad district. The presentation covered the topic of zoonotic diseases, emphasizing the ‘One World, One Health’ concept, and focusing on the origins, modes of transmission, symptoms, and preventive measures of diseases such as Rabies, Kyasanur Forest disease, Leptospirosis, COVID-19, and Nipah virus

Awareness session on Zoonotic diseases in Wayanad district for the students from different schools across Wayanad district held at Hume Centre


The Nipah virus outbreak in the neighboring district of Wayanad has raised concerns within Wayanad as well. To address false rumors about the virus and prevent misconceptions, awareness posters on Nipah virus were prepared to inform the public about what actions should and should not be taken in such a situation. The Zoonotic disease team has prepared an awareness poster about the spread of Nipa Viruses.


A meeting was held with thirteen farmers from various panchayats in Wayanad District to provide training in collecting data on human-animal interactions. This approach equips farmers with essential skills and knowledge, resulting in a deeper understanding of the subject matter, enabling more informed decision-making in the area and enhancing the capacity to manage and address human-animal interactions effectively in Wayanad District.

Highlights of the Year 2023


Hume Centre’s Ecosystem-based Community-led Climate Action program has been honoured with the prestigious Nexus of Good Annual Award for 2023 in the category of Conservation of Resources or Environment. The Award was constituted by Nexus of Good Foundation and given Five categories. The award was presented at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce in Delhi by Mr. Prabhat Kumar, a former Governor of Jharkhand (Retd IAS)


  1. D4GX GRANT AWARD 2023
    The Hume Centre has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s D4GX grant award ABOUT US - #D4GX INDIA for the works done in the climate action program. This Award is given to institutions that use data for community empowerment. The Hume centre’s climate action programme is evaluated as a project that uses data for community resilience building in the context of climate change, enabling local communities and farmers with weather data enabling informed decision making during extreme weather events to district administration, farmers and general community.
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