Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CIRDA Workshop to Deepen Private Sector Engagement to Increase Access to Climate Information in Africa

Climate stresses and limited adaptive capacity are increasing Africa's vulnerability to climate change. Africa's vulnerability to climate change has a deep impact on economic development and livelihoods as a large majority of the population is economically dependent on rain-fed agriculture.
With support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF), African countries like Uganda have developed a National Adaptation Programme of Action to protect their development goals from the effects of climate change by means of adaptation and risk management. However, for these countries to implement the appropriate risk management solutions they first require access to reliable and timely climate and weather information that can in turn be translated into actions.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Liberia, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia have partnered with UNDP to promote the availability of timely and reliable climate and weather information to help reduce the impact of climate change in all development sectors. These efforts are being channeled through UNDP's Multi Country Support Programme to Strengthen Climate Information Systems in Africa (CIRDA) that is bringing new technologies and capacities to help farmers, policy makers and the private sector to make well informed decisions in the face of extreme weather events and ongoing changes in weather due to climate change.

As part of the CIRDA Programme, the Government of Uganda and UNDP are holding an international workshop aimed at building sustainable climate change adaptation and development plans. The workshop is directed at asisting National Meteorological and Hydrology Services (NMHS) in Africa create value added weather and climate services through private sector engagament and establishing public private partneships.

This event has brought together government and private sector representatives, international experts and members from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UNDP. During the workshop, discussions have been held with members from agriculture, financial, aviation and telecommunication sectors on how to best meet their needs in climate and weather services. Ideas on how best to engage through the use of new technologies to meet weather service needs to support national development are being put forward.

Long term financial sustainability of national weather and climate services has also been a key topic addressed during this two day events. As governments deal with budget constraints on many fronts, limited budget resources to acquire the necessary equipment and maintain it remains a big challenge for NMHS in their attempts to meet the information needs of their populations. Hence, discussions have also been centered on analyzing the potentional for generating revenue to support the sustainability of weather and cliamte services- including the opportunities for collaboration with mobile phone companies and establishing public private partnerships.

"The use of weather and climate information is essential for national planning and can be used to reduce loss of lives and property thus alleviating poverty and enhance economic competitiveness locally and internationally," explained H.E. Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister for Water and Environment of the Government of Uganda.

"Adaptation can only occur when reliable climate information can be translated into actionable results. For this to happen, it is necessary that NMHS have not only access to modern weather and climate observation and forecasting technologies but most importantly can maintain these systems over time. They must be financiallly and operationally viable," said Dr. Bonizella Biagini, CIRDA Programme Manager.

"Meteorology is critical for the development of Uganda as it provides us with accurate weather and climate information and forecasting that is essential for planning in all sectors of the economy," stated Ms. Almaz Gebru, UNDP Country Director of Uganda.

For more information regarding this event, including access to the presentations and meeting summary, click here.

CIRDA is the Multi Country Programme to Strengthen Climate Information for Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Africa. Funded by the GEF and implemented by UNDP, CIRDA is working with 11 countries in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia) to support national climate services in their efforts to collect, analyse and disseminate climate information as a key tool in long term planning and adaptation. For more information, see: www.


Unknown said...

How can Nigeria benefit from this programme?

Unknown said...

How can Nigeria benefit from Climate Innovations Network

Greg Benchwick said...

Contact the CIRDA programme through our website to see how Nigeria could benefit.

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