Experts discuss implementation and resource mobilization plan for an African strategy on meteorology

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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Experts discuss implementation and resource mobilization plan for an African strategy on meteorology

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Experts and stakeholders today met in Addis Ababa, at the AU Commission to discuss and draft the implementation plan and resource mobilisation strategy for the integrated African strategy on meteorology.

The meeting is an implementation of the Decision of the Executive Council adopted at the January 2013 AU Heads of State and Government Summit, on the Report of the Second Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers responsible for Meteorology and the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) held in October 2012.

The Summit endorsed the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology and recommended the establishment of two Taskforces to draft the Implementation and Resource Mobilization Plan for the Integrated Strategy on Meteorology.

Further endorsed was the investigation of the feasibility of developing an African Regional Space Programme as well as a recommendation to the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Partners to establish a Regional Climate Centre in Central Africa.

Officially opening the experts meeting, AMCOMET Bureau Chief and Head of International Relations of the Zimbabwe Meteorological Department, Dr. Elliot Bungare, said the Implementation Plan would be comprehensive in nature and would take into consideration the numerous issues affecting climate and meteorology.

He further said the implementation plan would support activities in line with the AU declared Year of Agriculture and Food Security.

Dr. Bungare also urged Regional Economic Communities to consider the integrated African Strategy whenever they discuss meteorology and climate change issues.

African Union Commission, Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel said the development of the Implementation Plan under discussion was cardinal as it would improve the generation of climate information on the African continent.

He said improved generation of climate information would enhance the capacity of National and Hydro-Meteorological Services to explore the potential of Earth Observation (EO) technologies in monitoring droughts, floods, weather, climate, fisheries, rangelands, forests, etc, as a tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“The drafting of the Implementation Plan is also very timely as we are still discussing our African Agenda 2063 on: Pan Africanism and African Renaissance; and in addition we are commemorating the 10 years of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programm.” Dr. Abebe said. “Furthermore, the recently held 22ndSession of the African Union Assembly launched the Year 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. I have no doubt that the Implementation Plan being developed will support climate change adaptation in the field of agriculture which contributes to over 80% of rural livelihood needs and over 40% of GDP in Africa,” he added.

The Integrated Strategy was developed as a policy document to enhance the cooperation between African countries; and to ensure that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) have the capacity to fulfill their responsibilities including the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

The Strategy identifies five key pillars for action as follows: (a) Increase political support and recognition of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and related Regional Climate Centres; (b) Enhance weather and climate service delivery for sustainable development; (c) Improve access to meteorological services for in particular for Marine and Aviation Sectors; (d) Support the provision of weather and climate services for climate change adaptation and mitigation; and (e) Strengthen partnerships with relevant institutions and funding mechanisms.

The Strategy further sets out priority actions that can be undertaken at national, regional and global levels. These priority actions are supported by a set of institutional partnerships that bring together AMCOMET and Development Partners to support meteorological (weather and climate) services in Africa.