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Info note No.63

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Geneva/Kuala Lumpur, 19 April 2010 (WMO) – Experts from different regions are meeting in Malaysia, from 19 to 21 April 2010, to develop guidelines for the establishment of national climate services. Adaptation to climate variability and change requires a policy framework to adjust to expected changes, supported by relevant climate information and proper dissemination.

More than 43 experts will address this need at a workshop convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and hosted by Malaysia, in Petaling Jaya. They will seek to develop possible institutional models for the delivery of climate products to all sections of society and to assist the users in integrating climate information in their decision-making processes. The participants will explore opportunities to streamline and integrate climate services provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) into adaptation planning and practices at national and regional levels.

The establishment of national climate services by NMHSs will be an important step forward in helping their respective governments and nations better understand and forecast the changing climate, and ensure they are best prepared for the future challenges posed by climate change. However, this effort will require NMHSs to consolidate their capabilities relating to climate science and services in a single office that can serve as a point-of-entry for extensive climate information, data, products and services.

At the opening of the meeting, Dr Mannava Sivakumar, Director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch of WMO, said the workshop would contribute to the ongoing work towards the establishment of a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), which was decided wild upon the World Climate Conference-3 in 2009. There was a need to discuss how to move forward towards a solid scientific foundation for extensive on-the-ground climate services that respond to requests of governments on public policy decision making.

"Under the GFCS, NMHSs should work towards providing a broader range and higher level of accuracy in climate services that meet the needs and expectations of the people of their nations.  This thrust has come at an appropriate time where we are seeing increasing climate variability and change and provides an opportunity to accelerate the improvement in climate prediction and longer term climate projections. This can only be achieved through greater international commitment and collaboration on improved climate services to the people”, said Dr Kok-Seng Yap, the Permanent Representative of Malaysia with WMO.


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