A pilot National Climate Outlook Forum is taking place in Mozambique as part of the WMO-spearheaded initiative to roll out user-friendly climate services and increase resilience to extreme events and climate change.
The meeting in Maputo from 3 to 6 March brings together providers of climate information together with the users: water managers, city councils, the energy sector, health authorities, research and academic institutes, farmers, fishermen, private sector sugar and banana companies, as well as international development agencies. There will be a special segment devoted to agrometeorology.
It is regarded as a test case for the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services. At the heart of the GFCS lies the principle that building interfaces between user agencies and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) will facilitate climate-smart decisions in critical sectors. Priority is being given to reducing impacts of climate-related disasters, improvement of food security and health outcomes, and efficient water resource management. One of the mechanisms for creating such climate information user interfaces are the National Climate Outlook Forums (NCOFs).
Mozambique is highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones, flooding and droughts. Improved use of climate information is very important to address food security and disaster management and other long term risks.
The NCOF-pilot will aim to link climate information being generated by Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INAM) with stakeholder institutions, and their decision-making processes to improve application of climate information, particularly the seasonal scale climate outlooks. The forum will also assess the generation and use of climate information in a national context to identify capacity gaps and create a regular platform to bring together users and generators of climate information.
A number of countries already have national climate outlook forums. WMO wants to ensure that these all meet basic standards so that the forecasts are relevant, useful and reliable. The aim is that countries should convene forums at least once before the onset of summer/winter/rainy season to ensure the receipt, interpretation, communication, and application of climate information for managing risks.
The Southern Africa Regional Outlook Forum has for many years provided regional seasonal outlooks. The role of Mozambiques’s national forum will be to downscale that information at relevant timescales and to contribute to national scale preparedness for every season.
WMO intends that the Mozambique NCOF will act as a prototype for other NCOFs in other countries and will create an institutional mechanism to:
- Ensure that climate information products, including their uncertainties and limitations, are understood by and communicated to users.
- Discuss user views to make these climate information accessible, user-friendly and applicable.
- Provide a platform for understanding risks and opportunities of past, current and future climate information; and for inter-agency coordination of policies, sectoral plans and programs linked to potential impacts of hydro-meteorological hazards.
- Evolve a culture of working together through joint climate information interpretation sessions for managing risks in various climate-sensitive sectors, like agriculture, irrigation, disaster risk reduction and health.
- Providing a platform for inter-agency coordination of policies, sectoral plans, and an ongoing process of understanding and responding to risks posed/opportunities brought about by past, current, and future climate.