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Durban, South Africa

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Saturday, 3 December 2011  
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Mr Michel Jarraud participated in the Durban Oceans Day at the Rio Convention Pavilion. The meeting brought together over 170 participants representing governments, international organizations, the scientific community, academia, and non-governmental organizations. It was organized by the Global Ocean Forum in association with a large number of co-sponsors including WMO. The one-day meeting was organized in seven sessions, addressing: oceans and coasts at the UNFCCC and at Rio+20; climate change and African fisheries; evidence of climate change from the Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs); progress on major oceans and climate issues; oceans and climate issues in small island developing States (SIDS); capacity building and public education; and mobilizing action on oceans and climate.

In his special address in the opening session of Oceans Day, Mr Jarraud outlined the strong collaboration between WMO and IOC-UNESCO. He presented the main findings of WMO’s latest statement on the global climate, highlighting the strong influence of a la Niña event and the second lowest Arctic ice extent on record.

podium   Participants in the Welcome and Opening Session of Oceans Day (from left: Mr Michel Jarraud; Deputy Minister Mrs. Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa; Ms Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO); Ms Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum and Mr. Dosoo Jang, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI))
SG's Address at the Oceans Day Panel   Mr Michel Jarraud delivering the Special Address at the Oceans Day
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The WMO delegation participated in the side event on “Improved livelihoods in Africa through the Implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)” which was held at the Climate Change Response Expo. Organized by WMO and the South African Weather Service (SAWS), the side event provided evidence of the benefits of the GFCS and information on progress being made in the development of the draft implementation plan and governance mechanism of the GFCS. The side event was chaired by Mr Blessing Manale, Deputy Director General of the Department of Environment. Dr Ngubane, Chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and Mr Welcome Msomi, Board Member of the SAWS participated in the side event, as well as Dr Linda Makuleni, PR of South Africa with WMO.

Mr Michel Jarraud delivered the initial address, highlighting the importance of the GFCS development for African countries, and the key role to be played by NMHSs.

A view of the audience during the WMO/SAWS Side Event on “Improved livelihoods in Africa through the Implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)”   Audience at GFCS Side event


Professor Bruce Hewitson from the University of Cape Town in his key note address stressed that the most critical need with respect to climate services is not more science, but translation to enable actionable messages at the time and space scales of user decision-making.

Ms Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim from the Mbororo nomadic peoples association of Chad, in her key note address showed evidence of Climate change impacts that result in increased restrictions on mobility, increased distances to access resources such as water and pasture, loss of livestock and change of lifestyle. She called for urgent action to enable vulnerable people to access climate information for informed decision making.

Mr Ali Mohammed, Permanent Secretary of the ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources of Kenya stressed the need of coordinated efforts through the AMCOMET process to enable production and use of climate services in Africa

The key note addresses were followed by a lively panel discussion with the following panelists:

  • Mr. Michel Jarraud, Secretary General, WMO
  • Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of Arab Water Council and Co-Chair of the High-level Taskforce on the GFCS
  • Dr Joseph Mukabana, Director, Kenya Meteorological Department and PR of Kenya with WMO.
  • Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Executive Committee Member of Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) & Coordinator/Director of Bororo nomadic peoples association of Chad
  • Prof. Laban Ogalo, Director IGAD, Climate Prediction and Applications centre (ICPAC)
Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim   Ms Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim from the Mbororo Nomadic Peoples Association of Chad presenting her keynote address
The discussions indicated that despite efforts done so far with respect to production and application of climate services, there are serious gaps that need to be urgently addressed. The GFCS is a mechanism intended to facilitate coordinated efforts to address these gaps (from observations to research and capacity development)
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Ms Elena Manaenkova represented WMO on the High-level panel at the side event on "Climate information for water management in Africa" held at the in Africa Pavilion. She presented the WMO prospectives and elaborated on how NMHSs contribute to water resource management in Africa. Several WMO projects including HYCOS, Drought Monitoring Centres, RCOFs, Roving Seminars on Weather, Climate and Farmers, etc., provide practical help to African countries in their efforts to manage water resources and factor climate vulnerability and change. She emphasised newer initiatives and developments such as GFCS and AMCOMET. Other panellists, including representative of World Bank stressed the importance of institutional, regional and sub-regional cooperation in Africa and assessing and advocating for the socio-economic benefits of hydro meteorological observations and services, particularly in the water sector. There was a strong plea from the audience to support the African observation networks.


At a late night session, SBSTA-35 session considered the final document on Agenda Item 6 on Research and Systematic Observation. Due to the support from a number of national delegations, SBSTA –35 included the following paragraphs on GFCS:

10. The SBSTA noted with appreciation the statement provided by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) informing on the progress towards the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). The SBSTA recognized that the GFCS is an important initiative to underpin science-based adaptation and to support countries in meeting the challenges of climate variability and change.

11. The SBSTA invited WMO to provide, at the thirty-seventh session of the SBSTA, information on the outcome of the Extraordinary Session of the WMO Congress in October 2012 with respect to GFCS implementation. The SBSTA also invited WMO to provide information, when appropriate, on the progress in the implementation of the GFCS at future sessions in order to inform the work under the Convention.





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