Africa Climate Conference 2013 Identifies Priority Areas for Research

africa-climate-conference-201323 October 2013: The Africa Climate Conference 2013 (ACC2013) brought together over 300 delegates who adopted a statement identifying four priority areas for research in order to address critical gaps in understanding the African climate system and to bridge the climate science-policy divide.

The four areas are: co-designing multi-disciplinary research for improving climate forecast skill and reliability, across different time and spatial scales; filling the climate data gap; building capacity at all levels; and mainstreaming climate services into decision making.

The statement also stresses the need for a platform to coordinate major climate research initiatives on Africa and to sustain implementation of the African climate research agenda. Scientists working in and on African climate issues and user community representatives crafted the climate research agenda to inform decision making, climate risk management and adaptation planning in Africa.

Jerry Lengoasa, Deputy Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), delivered a keynote address, highlighting the role of the Global Framework for Climate Services and the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology. Summing up the outcomes of the meeting, Agnes Kijazi, Director-General of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency, said the proposed agenda for climate research will serve development in Africa, resting on innovative proposals for pan-African research programmes that aim to bridge the gap between social and biophysical research, and between research and application. He said he hoped the research agenda would serve as a blueprint for coordinating climate research investments in Africa, and bringing research outputs together with user needs.

ACC2013, which took place in Arusha, Tanzania, from 15-18 October 2013, was organized under the auspices of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) and the University of Dar Es Salaam. The outcome of the conference informed debate at the Third Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA–III), held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 21-23 October 2013. [Conference Website] [Conference Statement] [WMO Press Release]