Scientific progress has laid the basis for more effective policies to combat and manage drought and desertification. The challenge of climate change means it is imperative to translate that science into action, according to a World Meteorological Organization presentation to the High-Level Segment of the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Changwon, Republic of Korea.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud told a roundtable session that food security and water are among the top priority areas singled out by a new Global Framework on Climate Services currently being developed by WMO and its U.N. and humanitarian partners. It aims to boost the availability, timeliness and relevance of climate information to all countries and all communities, especially the most vulnerable. For instance, there have been big advances in the accuracy of regional and national seasonal forecasts, but all too often this information does not reach those who need it most, such as subsistence farmers who have to decide on the planting of crops or the rearing of livestock. The Framework aims to rectify that with a permanent platform to link providers of climate information with the users, among others.
“The new Global Framework for Climate Services will be an important tool in the struggle against drought and land degradation,” said Mrl Jarraud. “The Framework will contribute to more integrated drought management policies which embrace pro-active disaster risk reduction rather than reactive crisis response as is currently the case. We are confident that its benefits will filter down to all levels of society.”