Joint session of Mediterranean, South East European, Northern Africa and Arab Climate Outlook Forums was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 26 to 29 November 2018. The Forum produced a seasonal climate outlook for the 2018-2019 boreal winter season over the entire Mediterranean region, as well as sub-regional outlooks for South East Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and agreed on a common approach to ensure harmonized information across overlapping areas.
The final session concluded with a set of recommendations from climate experts and national representatives from agriculture, water resources, aviation and academia towards improving the provision, uptake and use of climate products and services. The recommendations included capacity development for producers and users of climate information, facilitated access to standardized, and quality-controlled climate products and sectoral data, and sustainable financial and technical support to NMHSs to address the increasing demand of users. The National Framework for Climate Services was seen as an effective mechanism for improving the quality of the climate products and the establishment of national forums as an institutional mechanism for interaction between the climate community and various stakeholders and users.
This unprecedented event – the first time that four Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF) were held in conjunction – brought together some 50 participants from nearly 30 countries. Hosted by the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA), the event promoted interregional collaboration and proved to be an effective information and knowledge sharing platform.
The initial outcomes of the European Union funded project "MEDiterranean Services Chain based on climate PrEdictions" (MEDCSOPE) were presented in a pre-forum training session. The results are of critical importance to improve the RCOF operational practices. They will facilitate provision of tailored climate information and contribute to an objective approach for generating seasonal outlooks.