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Contributing to the greening of economies and poverty alleviation - Detailed programme


GFCSContributing to the greening of economies and poverty alleviation through the Implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) 

Global efforts towards greening of economies and addressing poverty are sensitive to weather and climate variability and change. Development targets are at risk as food production, food security, disaster risk reduction, health epidemics, access to water, energy, tourism, etc., in many countries are dominated by weather and climate. Use of scientifically sound climate services can support better climate risk management, and in taking advantage of climate opportunities to increase productivity and promote sustainable development. 

The need to provide the world and decision-makers with science-based information on how to effectively manage risks associated with the climate and how to make informed decisions that include climate and climate change information and data, led the Third World Climate Conference-3 (Geneva, 2009), to call for the establishment of a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). Since then, the World Meteorological Organization with UN partner agencies has been leading the development of a detailed Implementation Plan for the Framework expected to be considered by an extraordinary session of a World Meteorological Congress, bringing together its 189 Member States and Territories in October 2012. The Framework is a UN lead partnership that will coordinate global initiatives building on existing efforts of various stakeholders to ensure the provision of climate services that are focused on meeting the requirements of users to provide the greatest benefits from the current climate knowledge. 

The Framework is based on the philosophy that efficient management of the climatic risks today is the foundation for managing the climatic risks of tomorrow, which are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude as a consequence of climate change induced by humankind. The Framework will focus in the short term, on the provision of climate services for water, agriculture and food security, health and disaster risk reduction. However, availability of climate services will also benefit other climate sensitive sectors simultaneously. It will do so by building on five critical components: 

  1. User Interface - which will provide ways for climate service users and providers to interact and improve the effectiveness of the Framework and its climate services and facilitate improved climate literacy and better understand of each other needs through engaging in systematic interaction and genuine dialogue; 
  2. Climate Service Information System - intended to produce and distribute climate data and information according to the needs of users and to agreed standards from the global to the national levels;
  3. Observations and Monitoring - to support strengthening of the network of observing stations needed to provide the data required to underpin accurate climate services; to monitor critical, and develop agreements and standards for generating and exchanging necessary climate data; 
  4. Research, Modeling and Prediction - to expand the research basis to gain further understanding of the climate system and its impacts to support services development and provision and harness science capabilities and results to meet the needs of users of climate services; and 
  5. Capacity Building - to support the systematic development of the institutions, infrastructure and human resources needed for effective climate services. 

Concretely, the Framework will provide for example: 

  • Longer lead-times for enhanced flood and drought management due to the incorporation of seasonal forecasting into early warning systems; 
  • Increased yields and better agricultural management through the use of seasonal outlooks by farmers world wide;
  • Enhanced and sustained generation of environmentally friendly energy (solar, wind, hydro) through appropriate design, planning and maintenance of the infrastructure based on long term climate information;
  • Broader information basis for ecologically sound adaptation measures through the identification and support of climate resilient ecosystem services (i.e. expansion of wetlands for flood mitigation or conservation of forest for ground water quality preservation

Given the complexity and challenges of naturally occurring climate variability, it is beyond the capacity of any single country or institution to build such a service on its own. Accordingly, the Framework will be based on a long-term cooperative arrangement supported by the entire UN system as well as other organizations. Partnerships across geographical, political and disciplinary boundaries will be essential. The Framework will build on, and strengthen, existing local, national, regional and global networks for climate observation, monitoring, research and modelling as well as operational structures and service programmes. 

Speakers from UN and international agencies will highlight current initiatives that demonstrate the benefits of using climate services in support of better planning and decision making across key areas for sustainable development. 

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