Partners Launch African Climate Research Programme

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 04, 2015 (ClimDev-Africa) – The eagerly awaited launch of the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) took place on the sidelines of the AMCOMET meeting in Praia, Cabo Verde on the 23rd February 2015.
Presiding over the programme’s launch, Mr. Pa Ousman Jarju, chair of the Least Developed Countries Group (LDC) and The Gambia Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Parks and Wildlife underscored the central role climate research plays in informing development and policy formulation in Africa. 
He called on the initiative to urgently address critical development sectors including agriculture, energy and water resources. On disaster risk reduction, the minister noted that climate information and climate information services are robust approaches for mitigating disaster risk.
On the governance structure of the CR4D programme, Dr. Fatima Denton, Special Initiatives Director at ECA noted that the perfect alignment of research, policy and the CR4D initiative will make good business and operational sense if the programme is nested in ACPC with oversight from AMCOMET and the rest of the ClimDev-Africa continental institutions, notably AUC and ADB. Dr. Joseph Intsiful, a senior climate science expert at ACPC advocated for a CR4D programme that is used to inform development, policy and decision making. 
Mr. Elijah Mukhala from the WMO Regional Office in Nairobi reaffirmed WMO’s continued support to African initiatives such as CR4D, the global weather climate services, and the drafting of the Africa Ministerial Conference on the Meteorology (AMCOMET) strategy document. 
Dr. Ernest Asi Afiesimama, a Nigerian environment and climate scientist recalled how the CR4D programme idea has progressed since it was first mentioned during deliberations of the first African Climate Conference held in Arusha Tanzania in October 2013.
Science-informed and evidence-based policy, planning and practices are essential in ensuring that adaptation measures minimize the negative impacts of climate variability and change on various human, natural, and socio-economic systems, and that development is sustainable, more resilient and less vulnerable to   negative impacts of climate change.
Prominent challenges for the African climate research community are the critical lack of trained scientists, expertise in understanding and predicting the climate driving mechanisms across time and space scales, inadequacy of observational networks, and weak communication and computational capacity. 
It was partly in response to these challenges that the CR4D agenda was pioneered at the Africa Climate Conference which was organized by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), and the University of Dar es Salaam. The event brought together more than 300 participants, including decision makers, representatives of research funding agencies, scientists from various disciplines, and practitioners from Africa and around the globe.
As a follow-up to the prior agreement reached in Marrakech in October 2014 to have a joint secretariat composed of ACPC, AMCOMET and WMO, with a secretariat hosted by the ACPC, a committee will be established to work out the modalities of implementation.
Issued by ClimDev-Africa.