This paper, from the UMFULA programme, reviews the current availability of climate information in Southern Africa and assesses the requirements of a variety of end users in the region, using empirical findings from an innovative regional survey. The paper identifies the challenges facing users of current weather and climate information products, and highlights the importance of creating user-tailored climate services in order for successful integration of climate issues into planning and policy development.
Reliable and accessible climate information is a key need when managing current risks from adverse climatic conditions and adapting to anticipated future changes. Current challenges to generating climate services relate both to the supply of climate science and its application in particular environments and decision-making contexts. Understanding the information requirements of different sectors is important both to inform climate research, and to produce tailored, useful and useable products.