Latin American Workshop Improves Climate Services

gfcs30 July 2014: A Regional Workshop on Climate Services at the National Level for Latin America convened with the aim of strengthening the provision of climate services, such as seasonal outlooks and El Niño forecasts, and tailoring them to user needs in Latin America.

The workshop brought together experts from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), and decision makers and practitioners from the Global Framework for Climate Services' (GFCS) four priority areas (agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction (DRR)).

The workshop, which took place from 28-30 July 2014, in San José, Costa Rica, aimed to identify appropriate mechanisms and networks to improve and continue the flow of climate information to different users. More specifically, it aimed to: enhance the understanding of the needs for climate services in the different sectors; clarify capacity development needs to implement the GFCS at the regional and national levels, and build capacity to take advantage of these services; identify climate information distribution chains for Latin America; strengthen national and regional observation and research networks; provide strategic guidance on institutional arrangements, partnerships and processes required to operationalize the GFCS; identify and prioritize ways to increase community understanding and awareness of climate variability and change; and develop a regional action plan for implementing climate services in Latin America.

The ability to predict El Niño events several months in advances is a major achievement of climate services in the region and provides governments with the necessary time to limit socioeconomic impact. The meeting was organized under the auspices of the GFCS, and was one of a series of regional and national meetings taking place around the world as momentum grows behind the drive led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to translate advances in climate science into concrete action to improve lives and protect livelihoods. [WMO Press Release] [Meeting Website]