New AMCOMET website launched ahead of African climate conferences
The African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) has launched a new, improved website to give greater visibility to its work in fostering political will to strengthen National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, enabling them to improve the delivery of weather, climate and water services in Africa and to promote sustainable socio-economic development.
Africa is particularly vulnerable to weather and climate extremes such as drought and flooding and to the impact of natural climate variability and human-induced climate change.
Despite covering a fifth of the world's total land area, Africa has the least developed weather and climate land-based observation network of all continents, and faces severe human, financial and technological constraints, and obsolete technologies limiting their capabilities to produce the best services needed by policy makers and other decision-makers.
In order to respond to these challenges and improve the level of services, AMCOMET was established in 2010 during the First Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa, held in Nairobi, Kenya. It acts as a permanent forum to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision of weather, water and climate information and services.
African ministers convene every two years to discuss matters related to the development ofmeteorology and its applications and its contributionto the socio-economic development in Africa.
The Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), adopted during the Second Session of AMCOMET and subsequently endorsed by the African Union, positions weather and climate services as essential components in national and regional development framework and sustainable development in Africa, particularly in poverty reduction efforts and adaptation climate variability and change. Its objectiveis to promote political cooperation and streamline policies between African countries and advocate for sound decision-making based on robust science.
The Strategy is also a key component in the implementation of a structured Global Framework for Climate Service (GFCS) in Africa, focusing on the priority areas of food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health.
The launch of the new website comes ahead of two major climate conferences in Africa. The Africa Climate Conference (link to http://www.climdev-africa.org/acc2013), 15-19 October 2013, in Arusha, Tanzania, focuses on Addressing Priority Research Gaps to Inform Decision-Making in Africa. This will be followed by the Third Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa in Ethiopia 21-23 October 2013 which aims to share experiences, assess how Africa is coping with impacts of climate change, and seek ways of strengthening Africa’s ability to better prepare the continent for transformative development.