WMO-Backed Forum Introduces User-Friendly Climate Services in Mozambique

WMO6 March 2014: A pilot National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF) convened in Mozambique as part of a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) initiative to introduce user-friendly climate services and increase resilience to extreme events and climate change. 

The pilot NCOF is a test case for implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), which builds interfaces between user agencies and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs).

While the Southern Africa Regional Outlook Forum has provided regional seasonal outlooks for many years, the Mozambique NCOF will downscale that information at relevant timescales and help preparedness for every season.

WMO expressed the hope that the Mozambique NCOF will act as a prototype for other countries and create a mechanism to, inter alia: ensure climate information products are understood by and communicated to users; discuss user views and needs so climate information is more accessible, user-friendly and applicable; and provide a platform for understanding climate information risks and opportunities, and for inter-agency coordination of policies, sectoral plans and programmes.

According to WMO, several countries already have NCOFs, and are expected to convene similar forums at least once before the onset of the summer, winter and rainy seasons to ensure the receipt, interpretation, communication and application of climate information for managing risks.

The NCOF, which took place in Maputo, Mozambique, from 3-6 March 2014, also aimed to link climate information generated by the Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INAM) in Mozambique with stakeholder institutions. It brought together climate information providers and users, including water managers, city councils, health authorities, farmers and fishermen, as well as representatives from the energy sector, the private sector, academia, sugar and banana companies, and others.

In related news, WMO and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) agreed to increase their cooperation to strengthen links between provides and users of climate services, as well as the education and research community. [WMO Press Release on NCOF] [WMO Press Release on Cooperation with UNITAR]