WMO and 20 partners have held the kick-off meeting to launch FOCUS-Africa - Fully Optimized User Centric Climate Services Value Chain for Southern Africa - a four-year million 7 Euro 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) region 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 national 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.
The project, which embraces 10 partners from Africa and 10 from Europe, will benefit SADC-based users and the European consortium partners who will also greatly enhance their scientific knowledge and climate services provision know-how.
FOCUS-Africa is one of a number of WMO activities highlighted in the latest projects newsletter gives details of:
- Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-Meteorological Events in Small Island Developing States and South East Asia
- Subseasonal-to-Seasonal South East Asia Real Time Pilot Project
- Improved Coastal Inundation Forecast System in Tuvalu
- Data Exchange Through the South East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System-A project
The newsletter is available here