WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud has saluted the work of the International International Research Centre on El Niño/Southern Oscillation (CIIFEN) as a centre of excellence and expertise on a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate.
“WMO considers the achievements of CIIFEN remarkable and of great service to the regional and international climate communities,” Mr Jarraud told a 10th anniversary ceremony in Guayaquil, Ecuador 10 January.
Mr Jarraud singled out the development of regional climate models to improve early warning and of scenarios for regional adaptation to climate change, the establishment of climate-based community networks and the implementation of a Regional Climate Information System.
CIIFEN works to develop, strengthen and share information and knowledge on ENSO and its influence on climate. It also contributes to WMO’s periodic Updates on El Niño/La Niña, a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate and causes extreme conditions including droughts and floods.
Following several resolutions of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, CIIFEN was established in 1993. The U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) and WMO have co-sponsored CIIFEN, with support from the Government of Ecuador and the Spanish State Meteorological Agency. In a resolution passed in December 2012, the General Assembly reiterated the importance of CIIFEN.
In order to strengthen and ensure sustainability of CIIFEN and to support its future role as a WMO Regional Climate Centre, additional support is needed from national and other sources, said Mr. Jarraud. WMO’s Regional Association for South America approved the candidature of CIIFEN as a WMO Regional Climate Centre for the sub-region of Western South America. CIIFEN is currently implementing a demonstration phase.
Regional Climate Centres will play a key role in supporting the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services to improve the provision of regionalized climate information for agriculture and food security, water, disaster risk reduction and health.
The success of the GFCS will depend on a global partnership of governments and organizations, strengthening national and regional climate services and improving our ability to adapt and respond to the impacts of climate variability and climate change. Governments, organizations and individuals concerned are called on to contribute to this effort.
As a candidate Regional Climate Centre for Western South America, CIIFEN has an important role to play within the GFCS, enhancing its delivery of climate services and products tailored to the information needs of regional users, and coordinating the Climate Outlook Forum for the Western Coast of South America. CIIFEN has also been actively supporting training and capacity building of national stakeholders in the sub-region to provide climate services.