FOCUS-Africa: New climate services initiative in Southern Africa

WMO and 20 partners held a kick-off meeting from 16 to 17 September to launch FOCUS-Africa (Fully Optimized User Centric Climate Services Value Chain for Southern Africa), a four-year € 7 million initiative funded by the European Commission. FOCUS-Africa aims to deliver tailored climate services to increase resilience and adaptation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in four key sectors: agriculture and food security, water, energy and infrastructure.

The full value chain for climate services will be demonstrated through eight pilot case studies in six countries, which will involve a wide range of end-users and beneficiaries. They will illustrate how the use of climate science, forecasts and projections can maximize socio-economic benefits in specific sectors in both the private and public sectors in the region.

Southern African countries are vulnerable to climate variability, change and extremes. Water resources, agriculture, hydropower generation, ecosystems and basic infrastructures are under stress as a result of increasing frequency and intensity of floods, landslides and droughts. The development of improved climate information and forecasts of decision-relevant parameters are essential to addressing these challenges. Tailored forecasts such as rainfall onset and cessation are regularly requested by users, along with the associated skill information. Development and delivery of such products and services, and the evaluation of their socio-economic benefits, are central to FOCUS-Africa.

For more detailed information, visit the project page

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