The first meeting of OPACE-4, which aims to improve climate information for planning, operations, risk management and adaptation to both climate change and variability, was hosted by the International Research Center on El Niño (CIIFEN) in Ecuador, from 23 to 25 March.
The meeting brought together the three OPACE-4 Expert Teams (ETs): Indices for Climate Services (ET-ICS)*, Climate Risk Management (ET-CRM) and User Interface for Climate Services (ET-UICS). The rationale for the joint meeting was to help participants identify synergies and perspectives for collaboration – it proved efficient and rewarding. Members of the Commission gained a better understanding of the overall objectives of the Expert Teams and how to integrate crosscutting activities, planning them jointly in an effective and rational way. The leaders of the Expert Teams agreed to conduct regular teleconferences in order to ensure oversight and successful implementation of planned activities. The President of the Commission, Thomas Peterson, noted that the meeting could be reiterated by other OPACEs.
The Expert Teams have several deliverables to achieve by the end of the intersession period. ET-ICS will further develop the ClimPACT tool, which generates climate indices for specific sectors, for example, agriculture, water and health, and will promote and guide the use of these indices through a series of regional workshops. ET-CRM will produce a guide for the application of climate risk management concepts at regional and national levels, and will demonstrate these concepts at a regional workshop. ET-UICS will develop a guide on user interface best practices, including on how users can participate in different climate forums, including Regional and National Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF, NCOF) and sector targeted forums.
One of the notable outcomes of the meeting was the agreement to apply an integrated approach, encompassing the activities of all the Expert Teams. Hence, the Indices for Climate Services will be provided through User Interface mechanisms to help decision-makers at regional, national and local levels manage climate risks and adapt to climate variability and climate change.
* The name of this Expert Team is under consideration, it may be renamed Sector-specific Climate Indices (ET-SCI)