FOCUS-Africa aims to deliver tailored climate services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in four key sectors: agriculture and food security, water, energy, and infrastructure. The full-value chain of climate services will be demonstrated by piloting eight case studies in six countries involving a wide range of end-uses and beneficiaries. The case studies will illustrate how the use of climate science, forecasts and projections can maximize socio-economic benefits to specific national private and public sectors in the region. Pathways to scale-up the pilot cases are included for the whole Africa continent through the Regional Climate Fora.
The SADC countries are particularly vulnerable to climate variability, change and extremes: particularly water resources, agriculture, hydropower generation, ecosystems, and basic infrastructures are under stress as a result of increased frequency and intensity of floods, droughts and landslides. The development of improved climate information and forecasts of decision-relevant parameters are essential to address these challenges. Tailor 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 evaluation of socio-economic benefits are central to FOCUS-Africa.
Both the science and the applications are targeted at specific requirements, capture through engagement with end-users through ongoing projects and consultations. Project end-users are either based, or have operations in Africa, and will therefore provide guidance on both the implementation and assessment of the case studies, and the ensuing delivery of the FOCUS-Africa climate services. Co-production between end users, climate scientists and sectoral service providers will also ensure effective delivery of climate services.
The project will not only benefit the SADC-based users, but the European consortium partners will also greatly enhance their knowledge in both the science and climate services provision.