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GFCS Newsletter No. 14
November 2014 - March 2015

Credit: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN  
In this issue:
- In Focus
- Implementation Activities
- Recent Events
- Upcoming Events
In Focus

The Road to Sendai: 3rd UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction
 
The 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is just around the corner and several thousand participants are expected. The Conference will adopt a new framework for disaster risk reduction based on lessons learnt from implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA). The new framework will also address the challenges posed by climate variability and climate change, which increase disaster risks. In a changing climate, past observations are no longer representative of future, thus inadequate for producing projections. However, more than ever before, climate information and services are needed for risk-informed economic and social development decision-making.
Join GFCS co-organized session on Disaster and Climate Risk

Key messages:
  • Climate services contribute to enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to better re-building (GFCS contribution reflected in the zero draft of the Post-2015 DRR Framework- Priority 4).
  • GFCS provides a vehicle for coordinating support to countries in implementing the Post-2015 DRR Framework.
Towards “The future we want”: Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will take place on 25-27 September.  At the Summit, the UN General Assembly will approve a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on which negotiations are still ongoing in New York. Climate services are essential ingredients for sustainable development (learn more here).
 
Key messages:
  • Climate services provide the evidence base for implementing and monitoring SDGs - Climate information and sector specific data are combined in climate service products that can inform decision-making in various economic sectors for sustainable development and meeting the targets of the SDGs. Climate services can also support the monitoring of SDGs as they can provide long-term records of climate change impacts on sectors.
  • GFCS is a UN partnership, spearheaded by WMO, which can provide a “means for implementation” of SDGs.
Implementation Activities

Preparing for floods in Malawi

Credit: IFRC
So far this year, devastating floods have killed over 100 people and displaced 230 000 people in Malawi. Despite the scale of the disaster, activities implemented by the GFCS Climate Services Adaptation programme in Africa helped people prepare and respond better to the flooding in Malawi. The seasonal forecast issued by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) was downscaled to the district level for the hard-hit districts of Zomba, Nsanje, Lilongwe and Salima, which are all pilots in the programme. This provided local inhabitants and disaster managers with more accurate forecasts and information. In addition, studies were performed to find ways to widely disseminate climate services in both programme countries - Tanzania and Malawi. As a result, SMS and radio services will be rolled out in mid-2015 to bring climate information to communities.
 
Full story here
Senegal advancing its framework for climate services

Credit: Nancy Palus/IRIN
Following the national consultation held in Senegal in March 2014, the country has made outstanding progress. The meeting endorsed the formation of the inter-ministerial committee to develop a strategy paper for the further enhancement of climate services nationally. In addition, the strengthening of the existing national platform, the Groupe de travail pluridisciplinaire (GTP), has improved the link between the users and providers of climate services. GTP had been issuing agro-meteorological bulletins for the last 30 years, now it has expanded that services to additional sectors such as water, energy, disaster management, health and the media. Three local GTPs have also been put in place to support local users with climate information and products they need. GTP will serve as the main User Interface Platform for implementation of the GFCS in Senegal.
 
More information here
Advancing implementation of GFCS in North and Central America and the Caribbean
Credit: Phuong Tran/IRIN
Numerous activities related to the GFCS are already underway at the regional and national level in WMO Regional Association IV (RA IV covers North America, Central America and the Caribbean). As the first region to establish a GFCS Task Team, it could serve as a model for others. The Task Team held a meeting in Costa Rica on 5 and 6 February to further advance GFCS implementation in the region by building on existing efforts and cross-regional collaboration. The meeting agreed on a workplan with specific activities at national and regional levels such as data recovery and digitization, training and establishing frameworks for climate services at national level.
 
More information here
Contributing projects and activities to GFCS

 
Credit: Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF)
A web-based platform allowing Members and partners to report their GFCS-related activities was launched in September. Various partners and Members, such as Deutscher Wetterdienst, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Lithuania, Iran and others, have already contributed their projects, which can be consulted on the GFCS website.
 
More information here
Recent Events

Roving seminars for fishermen
Saint-Louis, Senegal, 18 December
Credit: Otto Bakano/IRIN
Fisheries provide food security and a means for many to earn their income, particularly in developing countries such as Senegal. WMO and the Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie du Sénégal (ANACIM) have organized a series of roving seminars for fishermen, targeting four coastal communities of Senegal. Part of the METAGRI operational project, the seminars are a first: they sensitized the coastal community, both fishermen and farmers about the weather and climate information in order to encourage the use of weather and ocean/sea alerts and applications in their daily operations. METAGRI is part of a GFCS project funded by Norway.

More information here
 
Regional Consultation on Climate Services at the National Level for South East Europe
Antalya, Turkey, 21-22 November
GFCS Office, in collaboration with the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) and the National Meteorological Service of Spain (AEMET), organized the Regional Consultation on Climate Services at the National Level for South East Europe in order to identify priorities for the implementation of GFCS in the region. The workshop, which followed the regional climate outlook forum meeting, brought together experts from the priority areas of the GFCS, as well as from the meteorological services of the countries in the region, to share experiences.
 
More information here
Second session of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services
Geneva, Switzerland,10-13 November
The Second Session of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services (IBCS-2) reviewed progress on, and provided guidance to enhance, implementation of the GFCS. The meeting highlighted the need for more partnerships and coordination among various actors in order to achieve the overarching goals of helping communities to adapt to extreme climate events and of boosting disaster resilience.
 
More information here
Conference on the Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services
Geneva, Switzerland, 5-7 November

The Conference was a landmark international forum addressing how to equally empower women and men to build safer, stronger and more resilient societies through the provision and use of gender-sensitive weather and climate services. The Conference was organized by WMO together with several other partners and brought together 280 participants from 93 countries and 31 international organizations. The Conference outcomes were presented at IBCS-2 which recommended that gender aspects be integrated into GFCS implementation.
 
More information here
First Session of the Partner Advisory Committee (PAC)
Rome, Italy, 27-28 October
The first session of the PAC was co-hosted by the UN World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The partners provided guidance on implementation of the GFCS and made recommendations for the consideration of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services.
 
More information here
Upcoming events

Third UN World Conference on DRR
Japan, Sendai, 14-18 March, 2015

Disaster and Climate Risk: Accelerating National and Local Initiatives (WCDRR-III Working Session 7)
Japan, Sendai, 17 March, 2015

Second meeting of the GFCS Partner Advisory Committee
Geneva, Switzerland, 30-31 March, 2015

GFCS Adaptation Programme Steering Committee
Geneva, Switzerland,  14-15 April, 2015

17th session of the World Meteorological Congress (Cg-17)
Switzerland, Geneva, 25 May to 12 June, 2015
 
Special bulletin on IBCS-1
An information brochure on the Global Framework for Climate Service
E-book on Climate Services
General overview on GFCS
Atlas of Climate and Health
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