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Climate Service Adaptation Programme in Africa Launches in Tanzania and Malawi

gfcsFebruary 2014: Tanzania and Malawi convened “kick-off” meetings to launch the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa, which aims to increase resilience in disaster risk management (DRM), food security, nutrition and health, building on existing climate services in these areas at the national, local and regional levels.

Addressing the meeting in Tanzania, Agnes Kijazi, Tanzanian Meteorological Agency Director General, said the programme would: improve data and climate service availability by increasing access; and empower meteorological services to better serve, in particular the agriculture sector and the authorities responsible for disaster management, which will improve food security and disaster management.

During the meeting in Malawi, Jolamu L Nkhokwe, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, stated that while Malawi has emphasized forecasting of large-scale rainfall patterns, “users often request tailored packages that integrate a variety of information, including more detailed features of expected rainfall.” He went on to explain that the programme would enable downscaling of large-scale climate data into the kind of rainfall information requested by users.

Providing more and improved climate services will: allow farmers to fine-tune planting and marketing strategies based on seasonal climate forecasts; empower disaster risk managers to more effectively prepare for droughts and heavy precipitation; assist public health services in limiting climate-related disease outbreaks, such as malaria; and help improve water resource management. Following these “kick-off” meetings, national consultations will establish a National Framework for Climate Services and a national steering committee with key stakeholders. The aim is to replicate the programme in other African countries and globally.

Funded by a grant of US$9,750,000 from the Government of Norway, the programme is the first multi-agency initiative to be implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), where natural and social scientists, as well as large development and humanitarian agencies, are working together to ensure climate services are tailored to the practical needs of user communities. Seven partner organizations, including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are implementing the programme. [WMO Press Release] [IISD RS Story on the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa] [GFCS Website]