Collaboration among key stakeholders in the Climate Information Services (CIS) value chain is crucial for Africa to achieve its development agenda, experts have observed.
Participants in the workshop in Entebbe Uganda on13 Feb, 2019 to validate mapping of projects along the CIS value chain unanimously called for full involvement of governments, donors, researchers, private sector, media and communities to address climate challenges.
Dr James Murombedzi, Chief, African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) said Africa needs evidence-based research to inform its budgeting and development programmes.
“Accurate climate information and CIS will make Africa resilient to climate change by ensuring that decision makers and planners in agriculture, water, energy, infrastructure, and health are well informed and make decisions that yield benefits for our people,” Murombedzi said.
Despite CISbeing very important to many countries, Murombedzi decried the insufficient systematic processes in Africa used for packaging, translating and disseminating information that is responsive to the needs of stakeholders.
Prof Joseph Mukabana of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) called for impact based forecasts that are area and consumer specific so that majority of the users are reached.
“For example, farmers want to know the onset of rains, its intensity and when it will stop. They want to know the seeds they will use and they want to receive the information in a simple language style they understand, not the scientific jargon,”Mukabana said.
He called for concerted efforts to target governments and donors because they are key in implementing policies.
“Let us plan to reach government officials through such bodies like African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) and Development Partners Roundtable,” Mukabana said.
Dr Frank Rutabingwa, Coordinator of Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER)at the Africa Climate and Policy Centre (ACPC) called for proper coordination to avoid duplication of projects.
“We will strive to identify projects across the continent so that we are able to advise donors and governments on how they can be implemented, where, and at what cost,” Rutabingwa said.
John Mungai, the WISER East Africa Coordinator noted that co-production has been successful in the Wiser projects in the region and the lessons should be used to replicate existing projects across Africa.
MithikaMwenda, secretary general of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) called for user-targeted messages to reach the masses.
“CIS is crucial for a low carbon climate resilient blue economy for Africa. But we need it packaged in a way that reaches the youth, women and other marginalized population,” Mithika said.
Prof Laban Ogallo of the University of Nairobiinsisted the vital role of national and regional climate centres in the implementation of CIS.
Teddy Tindamanyire, director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) noted the important role of media in disseminating CIS information.
“In Uganda, we are now able to transmit CIS information in 20 local languages because it is only through getting information to the users so that they use it to improve their livelihoods,” Tindamanyire said.
Jennifer Mohamed Katerere of Rights Resilience said more focus should be on the marginalized and indigenous communities and human rights.
The participants spoke during a meeting at Imperial Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda this week recognized the urgent need for facilitating the uptake of CIS through enhanced coordination of multiple actors implementing, funding and promoting climate services.
Consequently, Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) as partners are supporting the launch of a regional knowledge platform with content that is demanddriven, accessible and user-friendly.
To contribute to the CIS knowledge platform, an inventory of climate information services activities such as initiatives, programmes and projects was conceived by ACPC.
The mapping thus contributes to the implementation of one of the outcomes of the 2017 Saly, Senegal CIS coordination workshop. A Google interactive map hosted on the UNECA website has been created to provide a graphical resource for stakeholders to use.