Recognizing the need to accelerate the recovery of the region’s large volume of invaluable historical climate records, governments meeting this week in Maputo, Mozambique have decided to establish the Indian Ocean Data Rescue (INDARE) initiative.
The International Workshop on the Recovery and Digitization of Climate Heritage in the Indian Ocean Rim Countries and Islands also adopted a declaration and agreed to finalize an INDARE implementation plan.
An improved understanding of climate variability and climate change in the Indian Ocean basin is hampered by the lack of climate data with the required quality and spatial and temporal coverage. This strongly limits the generation of improved weather and climate forecasts that help in the early detection of extreme weather and climate events. Climate data and climate and weather information are also essential for supporting adaptation to climate change and variability.
The challenge is that a great deal of data still exists in the form of hard copy or on obsolete media. INDARE seeks to rescue these data through improved modern archiving facilities, quick electronic imaging and digitization. It will also promote the use of improved methodologies and techniques for analyzing climate data as well as the exchange of related scientific knowledge and technological advances.
The rescued climate data should then be made available for use in research and for generating high-value climate products and services. The World Meteorological Organization and its partners are assisting governments to develop and use such climate services through the Global Framework for Climate Services.
In addition to the region’s governments and international organizations such as WMO, INDARE is also supported by Environment Canada and the Government of Norway. The workshop declaration, the draft INDARE implementation plan and other documents and information are posted on the GFCS website.