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Climate Services Adaptation Programme Aims to Increase Resilience in Africa

WMO21 November 2013: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) partnered with research groups, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to launch the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa in an effort to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of weather and climate-related events.Funded by a US$9,750,000 grant from the Government of Norway, the Programme, the first multi-agency initiative implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), includes natural and social scientists as well as large development and humanitarian agencies working on the ground to ensure that climate services are tailored to the needs of the user community, including disaster management authorities, water and energy utilities, public health agencies, the transport sector and farmers.

An estimated 70 countries are ill equipped to meet the challenges of both natural climatic variations and human-induced climate change, and have inadequate or no climate services at all. The provision of more and better climate services will: allow farmers to fine-tune their 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 to target vaccine and other prevention campaigns to limit climate-related disease outbreaks, such as malaria and meningitis; and help improve water resource management.

The Programme will, inter alia: support and integrate existing initiatives in climate services, food security, nutrition and health, and disaster risk reduction, and develop related community programmes; and provide an opportunity under the GFCS for major international players to work together in a coordinated and holistic way. The Programme will initially focus on Malawi and Tanzania, will be operational in other African countries in the future, and is intended to serve as a model for other parts of the world. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud and State Secretary Hans Brattskar of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed the agreement on the sidelines of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Warsaw, Poland. [WMO Press Release] [GFCS Website]