• Global Framework for Climate Services seeks Pacific input

31 March 2014, Rarotonga, Cook Islands - In 2009 Country Leaders, Ministers and Heads of Delegations of over 150 countries and 70 organisations unanimously decided to establish the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) at the 3rd World Climate Conference in Geneva.

Four years later, an implementation plan for the GFCS was adopted in July 2013, which aims to improve climate services to support four key priority areas - agriculture and food security; water; health and disaster risk reduction.

The vision of the GFCS is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice.

This week in the Cook Islands, the Regional Consultation on Climate Services for Pacific Small Island States and Related Meetings is bringing together experts from the National Meteorological Services (NMSs) around the region, key decision-makers, and practitioners from the relevant partners supporting climate services in different sectors at the national level to discuss their efforts on climate services in the region.

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"This workshop builds on the historical contributions of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and various partners and stakeholders in the region in support of weather and climate services," presented Mr. Filipo Lucio, Director of the Global Framework for Climate Services Office at the opening ceremony today.

"Efforts on which we will build as we move forward towards enabling improved availability and application of climate services in the region. It will provide an appreciation of the current capabilities and challenges with respect to the provision of climate services in this region as well as the pressing needs for Climate Services."

Over the next three days it is planned to review the current status of climate services in the region, assessing specific needs in the initial four priority areas at the regional, national and local levels. This will also be the consultation process to identify the capacity building needs for the region in terms of mandates, infrastructure and human resources in all components of the GFCS.

This will also be the opportunity to identify partnerships among relevant stakeholders at the Pacific regional event and discuss the linkages of existing programs to strengthen climate services in the region.

"Through the Global Framework for Climate Services, UN agencies, development banks, regional institutions, national governments and researchers will work together to generate knowledge, data, information, services and best practices," said Mr. Lucio as he presented the opening address.

"This collaboration is needed to build greater capacity from the global to the national level for managing the risks and opportunities of climate variability and change and for adapting to climate change. The results will be effective global partnership for identifying and meeting user needs for climate information; the effective application of climate observations, socio-economic data, models and predictions for solving national, regional and global problems; a system for transferring data, information products and services to inform decision making; and increased capacity around the world for producing and using climate services."

The Regional Consultation on Climate Services for Pacific Small Island States and Related Meetings is hosted in the Cook Islands from 31 March to 4 April. The first three days will focus on the consultation of the GFCS.

The remaining two days of the discussions will focus on Pacific regional Meteorological projects and initiatives currently underway.

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Amongst other discussions there will be a consultation meeting on the third Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting to take place in 2015, as well as the Inception workshop of a regional meteorological project to help Reduce Vulnerability of the Pacific Island Country Villagers' Livelihoods to the Effects of Climate Change, funded by the Government of Finland; and the planning workshop for the programme for implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services at regional and national scales, funded by the Government of Canada.

The Regional Consultation on Climate Services for Pacific Small Island States and Related Meetings is held from 31 March to 4 April and brings together over 60 delegates including representatives from the Meteorological Services of each Pacific Island Country and Territory.

The workshop is supported by the Government of Canada, Government of Finland, WMO, Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP), GFCS Office and SPREP.

For more information please visit: http://gfcs-climate.org/content/regional-consultation-gfcs-small-island-developing-states-pacific
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