Sowing the Seeds for Climate Action in Senegal

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

In Senegal, cereal production is estimated to have increased by 20% in 2017 compared to 2016. Climate experts will investigate how much climate services contributed to this improvement in coming years, given Senegal’s dedication to ramping up climate services in the country. 

On 28 November 2017, the government of Senegal signed a decree establishing the country’s National Framework for Climate Services (NFCSs), taking Senegal one step closer to protecting its vulnerable communities from climate shocks. National frameworks coordinate the delivery of climate services at the national level, to ensure that the information provided by climate services to decision-makers are authoritative, dependable and tailored to user needs. This milestone was reached with support from the Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel project, a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The signing of the decree paves the way for the formal launch of Senegal’s NFCS. Following the launch, an Interministerial Council on Climate Services will be established to help ensure that science-based climate information and prediction are integrated into planning, policy and practice. Senegal’s ministries have been involved from the beginning, having participated in the country’s first National Climate Outlook Forum in June 2017. The forum brought together some 60 sectoral representatives to study the country’s seasonal rain forecast and its implications on food security, health, disaster risk management, energy and water management.

Training on climate services for various sectors is also in the pipeline for Senegal. The Senegalese Meteorological Service (ANACIM) has been working closely with the country’s various climate service user groups to ensure that their needs are met. In a National Consultation held in August 2017, ANACIM and sectoral partners worked together to identify priority interventions for agriculture, health and energy sectors, as well as the capacity development needed to implement these activities. ANACIM also benefited from a climate training workshop conducted by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center at the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in July 2017.

Important work is being done at the working level for the agricultural sector, with a Multidisciplinary Working Group regularly meeting to monitor the agricultural season for early warning purposes. Representatives from ANACIM and the ministries of agriculture, food security, hydrology and markets meet every 10 days to jointly review the 10-day forecast and the status of the rainy season, runoff in main rivers, food security, vegetation growth and trade.

“Farmers were able to choose the right crop variety—short or long term—using the information in the seasonal forecasts. The 10-day products were also used for agricultural planning,” said Mariane Diop-Kane, Director of Meteorology at ANACIM.

It will be interesting to see the contribution of these efforts to the improvement in Senegal’s food security.

 

This activity was conducted as part of the “Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel” project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

(The opinions expressed in this news article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of USAID.)

For more information on the project please contact: Veronica Grasso at vgrasso@wmo.int

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