Over 160 participants from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions and Europe gathered online on 30 March to take part in the official launch of the Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications Programme (ClimSA).
Endowed with a budget of EUR 85 million, the intra-ACP ClimSA programme is a joint initiative of the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU). It will support the climate information services value chain in ACP Regions, through the provision of technical assistance, financial assistance, infrastructure and capacity building to improve and widen access to and use of climate information.
The programme spans the entire climate services value chain to develop and deliver services in five priority sectors: agriculture and food security, disaster risk reduction, energy, health and water, in alignment with the WMO Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
WMO will provide technical assistance at the regional and national levels to support implementation of the climate services value chain, while strengthening the provision and use of climate information within ACP countries. This will improve the quantity and quality of climate services offered by Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs).
The EU-funded programme relies on extensive collaboration among ACP regional partners, and between technical partners such as WMO, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC).
OACPS Secretary General Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, underscored the importance of the ClimSA programme in contributing to providing “timely, appropriate data and information that allows decision makers – at both policy and technical levels – to decide on and choose the best adaptation option as we address climate variability and climate change.”
Recognising that science-based climate information is critical and necessary to build resilience to climate change impacts, Secretary-General Chikoti further stressed that the “instrumental role of the Intra-ACP ClimSA programme to support Members and Regions of the OACPS in their efforts to build resilience and pursue sustainable development.”
Ms. Carla Montesi, Director for Green Deal and Digital Agenda, European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), said the “EU” is “particular excited about this new programme as we trust it will bring climate science to the most vulnerable communities in the world and contribute to making science informed decisions at all levels. We are confident that this programme will strengthen all the components of the climate services value chain making an extra effort to reach the last mile with innovative solutions.”
In his intervention, WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas emphasized the importance of the GFCS and other climate services as a means to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, especially in the ACP regions. He further expressed the need to forecast not only weather and climate events, but the impacts they have on various sectors, mentioning that investments in climate services will not only save both lives and millions of dollars each year for low- and middle-economic developed countries.