Funding the Global Framework for Climate Services: Challenges and Opportunities

The implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) is now well underway, but will require full support, including investment/funding for institutional, procedural, infrastructural and human capacity development.

The main sources of GFCS funding thus far are Member contributions to the GFCS Trust Fund or to project specific trust funds, through bilateral and multi-lateral investments for projects in selected countries or regions. In addition, various actors can support projects contained in a compendium of GFCS projects or designate their activities as contributing to the GFCS by fulfilling criteria to be approved by the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services. As of June 2013, contributions and pledges total some CHF 29 millions, mainly from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong China, India, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

To attract the full financial backing it needs, the GFCS must instill confidence and trust that it will deliver the expected benefits. It has already taken steps to do so, including

  • The launch of pilot projects in target countries – Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Chad – with other projects under preparation in Botswana, Nepal and Spain;
  • The organization of workshops to initiate regional engagement in South Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean with more to come in Africa and other parts of Asia;
  • The launch of national frameworks in countries, such as the United Kingdom, as part of their contribution to GFCS implementation;
  • The embedding of regional structures, such as AMCOMET, which adopted an Integrated African Strategy for Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), into the GFCS; and
  • The preparation of a GFCS project compendium as part of the Implementation Plan.

To ensure sustainable implementation of the GFCS, it is critical that a wide range of financing mechanisms and development partners be engaged in the process. The GCFS Implementation Plan strongly emphasizes the importance of building on existing international, regional and national development mechanisms. This includes national budgeting processes, United Nations system initiatives, overseas development assistance programmes, development banks and agencies’ financing windows, in-country budgets of overseas missions and embassies, climate financing resources (e.g. Climate Investment Funds, Adaptation Fund, Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund) and private sector resources.

Robust climate science and related information services are becoming more visible and are in greater demand, bringing attention to the GFCS. Thus, various global, regional and national initiatives have demonstrated growing interest in the GFCS. This bodes well for building momentum to ensure that climate services are embedded into development policy and practice and offers an opportunity for the GFCS to leverage funding and actions for its implementation as well as to build solid partnerships.


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