June 2007 Downloads & Links

Climate for development in Africa

The President of WMO, Alexander Bedritskiy, and the Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud, addressed a letter to Group of Eight (G8) leaders in which they drew attention to the importance of enhancing the capabilities of African countries for early warning and adaptation to extreme weather and climate events. Such capabilities can ensure food security and eradicate poverty, thus making a substantial contribution to sustainable development. (The G8 summit met in Heiligendamm, Germany, 6- 8 June.)

Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev Africa) is a major programme developed by WMO with the participation of the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. It aims to assist African countries in achieving socio-economic development through improved climate monitoring, climate services, climate-related risk management (assessment of the risks of extreme climate conditions) and climate policy for Africa as a whole.

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) anticipates that climate change is likely, or very likely to lead to more severe, frequent and dangerous natural phenomena such as heat waves, heavy rain and drought in many parts of the world leading to human suffering and large-scale economic damage.

farmingClimate information is critical for managing the impacts (such as crop failures and disease) of climate variability and change on agriculture, water resources, health and natural disaster reduction. But climate monitoring networks in Africa that generate this information are weak and deteriorating.

Principally driven by a concern to address user needs in agriculture, health and water resources, ClimDev Africa is designed to ensure that climate information is incorporated into development practices throughout Africa to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The first phase of the programme will focus on demonstrating the value of climate risk information and how it can be used effectively to help protect lives, livelihoods and property.

The initiative for ClimDev Africa originated from the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), which was established in 1992 to ensure that the observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and made available to all potential users. GCOS is co-sponsored by WMO, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Council for Science.

The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of Africa will be playing a major role in the programme’s implementation.


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