ACPC launches weather and climate information services for Africa - phase II

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 27 July 2017 – The African Climate Policy Centre(ACPC) has signed an agreement with DfID for the implementation of the second phase of the Pan-Africa weather and climate information services (WISER). The design of WISER phase II is informed by the lessons learnt from the one-year pilot phase which was concluded in June 2017. Of note from the pilot phase is the value for money (VFM) and social economic benefits (SEB) of Climate Information Services (CIS) assessments, which brought out a strong case for CIS investments in the continent. The new phase will be implemented over a span of three years.
It is generally agreed that 2015 is a landmark year in the development of coherent global frameworks to guide development planning. New agreements concluded in 2015 include: (i) the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR); (ii) the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; (iii) African Union’s Agenda 2063; (iv) the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and (v) the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
For Africa whose economies have been severely affected by global warming and climate change, successful implementation of these frameworks is fundamentally contingent on actions taken regionally and globally to address the negative impacts of climate change on the one hand, and exploration and use of development opportunities from climate change on the other. As most of the 2015 development frameworks demonstrably point out, very little could be achieved by way of implementation of these frameworks without a complete mastery of the collection and analysis processes of climate data, which is the basis for reliable information for action on climate change at all sectoral levels.
From the WISER pilot phase consultative meetings, technical workshops, training events, Climate Research for Development (CR4D) Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings, the CR4D Regional Climate Research Partnership (RCRP) workshops, CR4D pilot projects, regional assessments and the CIS Day organized as part of the 6th Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-VI) conference, the key strategic lessons learnt were that for Africa (i) The policy and legislative environment does not provide sufficient incentives for the uptake and use of climate information services (CIS). (ii) There are numerous fragmented initiatives which seek to support the production and uptake of CIS on the continent. (iii)  Climate services encompasses a broad range of information and services but traditional definitions of CIS have been dominated by hydrological and meteorological services. (iv) Existing partnerships for coordinated approaches for CIS delivery at the continental level - such as ClimDev-Africa, Pan-Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and others - are in need of strengthening. (v) Strategies for brokering and managing the information and knowledge produced from the numerous initiatives and interventions do not as yet exist to enhance the impact of CIS. (vi) There is a weak collaborative research platform for co-designing, co-resourcing and co-producing user-driven climate information and services.
In Phase II of WISER, the policy and enabling environment component (PEEC) will seek to address the barriers identified during the framing of the programme, building on the foregoing lessons learned from implementation of the pilot phase and ClimDev-Africa, thereby increasing the overall impact of WISER through ensuring the integration of CIS into development policy across key development sectors such as water, energy, agriculture and transport (which constitute the principal focus of ACPC’s programme strategy), as well as ensuring the long term sustainability of CIS as a core input into development policy. Going forward, ACPC will leverage its strong convening power and unique policy influence for the implementation of WISER phase II.
Issued by the African Climate Policy Centre(ACPC).