Strengthening Climate Adaptation for Africa: Efforts Underway Towards a Global Framework for Climate Services
Geneva, 30 June 2009 (WMO) - Key tools to help countries adapt to climate change will be developed at the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3), which will take place in Geneva from 31 August to 4 September. The meeting will bring together high-level decision-makers, scientists, policy-makers, and business leaders to initiate a Global Framework for Climate Services to boost climate adaptation.
The Framework will be especially relevant to Africa, a region that is already highly vulnerable to climate change due to water scarcity, strong dependence on agricultural production and high population concentration along the coastal regions. Through the crucial adaptation angle, WCC-3 will feed into the ongoing work on climate change as intensive negotiations continue on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
The African continent is greatly impacted by climate variability and change, and the impacts are growing, according to a 2006 report on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in Africa, released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and based on data from bodies including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Changes in the frequency of droughts, heatwaves, floods, storms, frost-freezes and locusts require that the agriculture, water, transport, tourism and health sectors, among others, take adaptation measures to cope with the impacts of climate change. Such actions require improvements in climate and weather monitoring capabilities and better links between climate research and policy-making.
"By enhancing climate services for all communities, the World Climate Conference (WCC-3) will support poverty alleviation through strengthening provision of climate information for food, health and water management decisions, as well as disaster risk reduction. It will therefore contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction," said Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
"The Conference should result in improved observational networks especially in developing countries; enhanced ability of governments, societies, and institutions to access and use climate prediction and information for adaptation to climate change; and strengthened scientific and technical capabilities to provide more credible and user-oriented climate information and predictions by reinforcing international, national and regional scientific mechanisms," the Prime Minister added.