Addis Ababa declaration supports stronger climate services for Africa

Source(s)
World Meteorological Organization

The African Union Commission, African regional economic communities, and the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States have declared their support for the U.N. initiative spearheaded by the World Meteorological  Organization to strengthen and expand the provision of climate services.

The Addis Ababa Declaration of Support for the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) recognized that it will “enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change, and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale.”

The Declaration said that the implementation of GFCS will help African institutions to gain better access to knowledge and technologies in climate monitoring, prediction and projection. The Declaration was issued 30 September ahead of the 10th EUMETSAT User Forum Africa, which is intended to facilitate the use of EUMETSAT satellite data throughout the African continent. Representatives of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, African regional institutional bodies, government agencies and regional scientific and technical institutions are attending the meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On 3 October 2012, a 'Climate Day', jointly organized by EUMETSAT and the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) African Climate Policy Centre will focus on African capacities to respond to decision-makers’ climate information requirements.

Climate change is a major threat to sustainable growth and development in Africa. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, changing rainfall patterns are projected to have a negative impact on agriculture and food security, water availability and distribution. The frequency, magnitude and duration of extreme weather and climate events, such as severe storms, droughts and floods is likely to increase.

The GFCS is intended to increase the global provision of tailor-made climate services, especially for the most vulnerable. Initial priority will be given to the food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health sectors. The Declaration requested the European Union and the African Union Commission to include the GFCS implementation in Africa within the Partnership on Climate and Environment of the Joint Africa EU Strategy and to identify funds for its implementation (for example, through the European Development Fund and Global Climate Change Alliance) at continental, regional and national levels;

It requested the African Union Commission to reinforce its leading role in reaching a common African position in climate change negotiations and in the implementation of GFCS in Africa, and urged the nternational community to provide resources for its implementation.

Implementation of the GFCS in Africa will be on the agenda of the Second Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology, which will be held 15-19 October in Zimbabwe, and is expected to adapt an African Strategy onMeteorology (weather and climate services).

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