Seminar in Norway focuses on Climate Services
Progress in rolling out climate services to help the most vulnerable cope with our changing climate and improve water, agriculture, disaster and health management is the focus of a one day seminar in Norway.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, NORAD and Cicero Center for International Climate and Environmental Research are organizing the event 12 February ”Let’s talk about the weather – and start preparing for changes.”
This seminar is an important occasion to take stock of the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to improve and expand climate services essential to cope with weather, climate and water-related hazards several of which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change.
The GFCS, spearheaded by WMO and embracing U.N., government, research and civil society partners, aims to capitalize on scientific advances and roll out user-driven services such as seasonal climate outlooks and El Niño watches, flood prediction and drought monitoring tools.
“Better climate services are needed now to respond to the global challenges of disaster prevention and mitigation, management of water resources, food security and health,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
Norway played a pioneering role in laying the foundations of the GFCS by providing approximately US$ 10 million in funding over three years to boost capacity at international, regional and national level, with a special focus on Africa. Other countries are now following Norway’s example with contributions which will help kick-start climate services in countries and communities which need them most.
About 70 countries currently have inadequate climate services. The GFCS aims to give global access to improved services for four priority sectors – food security and agriculture, water, health and disaster risk reduction – by the end of 2017. By the end of 2021 it aims for improved services across all climate sensitive sectors including, for example, energy and transport.
In the past year pilot projects have been launched in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, aimed in particular at providing climate information and knowledge to farmers. Other projects are under preparation in Botswana, Chad, Nepal and Spain. Roving seminars to train farmers to manage weather and climate risks,a s well as to provide basic instruments like rain guages, are being organized throughout West Africa, thanks to Norwegian funding.
Agriculture is a key area where local resilience against current and future climate variability and change can be strengthened by using scientific knowledge to optimize the choice of seed varieties and cultivation and harvesting timing and techniques.
Progress in implementing the GFCS will be discussed at the seminar, which will also present ongoing work of the Norwegian Climate Services Center. Panelists will further discuss ways in which climate services can improve climate risk management, how to ensure that climate services reach out to the poor and vulnerable.
Speakers include: Norwegian Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch and co-chair of the High Level Taskforce on GFCS Jan Egeland, and Norwegian Meteorological Institute Director-General Anton Eliassen.