The last day of ACRC 2019 kicked off with an important keynote address and panel discussion on the state of climate information services in Africa. Filipe Lúcio, (Director, Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)) in his keynote address highlighted the urgency of climate action for Africa, importance to build and improve monitoring and evaluation and to build the capacity of climate services in Africa.
What was also highlighted as urgent for the development of climate services in Africa was the need for African ownership of these services as stated by Stephen Mooney (Department for International Development (DFID), UK) and the importance of ensuring this climate information is delivered to those on the ground.
Following this panel discussion there was a session on mobilizing investment in climate services. The keynote address by Paul Watkiss emphasized the importance of weather and climate services for the economy whose value extends beyond financial means. Tom Downing (Global Climate Adaptation Partnership, UK) spoke of Kenya and the development of sustainable financial models for climate services and Dumisani Chirambo (Seeds of Opportunity, Malawi) spoke to the enhancement of meteorological and climate change impacts monitoring through including social innovation and community science in sub-Saharan Africa. This was followed by a session on climate service initiatives in Africa.
There were 3 interactive poster sessions that took place throughout the day, which provided an opportunity for poster presenters to present and share their research with the conference delegates.
Two seminars on the IPCC Special Reports on Ocean and Cryosphere and Lands were open to delegates with discussion on the implications of these reports in an open science-policy dialogue.
Before lunch, two panel discussions took place, the one looked at the implications of carbon dioxide removal for adaptation and the SDGs and the other on the importance of collaborative engagement of public, private and academic sectors for the generation of climate information.
In the final sessions after lunch, there was a workshop on tackling urban challenges by co-creating knowledge on food-water-energy nexus, and a African-European call on innovative climate services for the African regions.
The closing plenary of ACRC 2019 began with the chair Ernest Afiesimama, (World Meteorological Organization (WMO)) underscoring the importance of linking researchers and a diversity of all actors in order to move climate information forward. Chris Jack provided a highlight of the conference outcomes noting;
- significant progress in high resolution modeling across multiple time scales
- strong adoption of co-production approaches while acknowledging the challenges
- deeper interrogation of challenges like capacity development and using climate information
- progress in linking risk management resilience and climate information
He also highlighted the emerging challenges and opportunities such as;
- increasing recognition on the impacts of recent extremes, which provides an opportunity of relating climate change to what people are experiencing and providing evidence that it is related to climate change
- high resolution modelling
- scaling up – is a challenge but also an opportunity
- shifting research funding and academic landscape – funding landscapes around universities are changing and its an opportunity to re-boot the system
Rosalind West in closing mentioned some points on the way forward such as seeing how the level of ambition can be raised at the Conference of the Parties, the issues that have been mentioned at ACRC will help to inform DFID’s new climate programme (CLARE), and finally that “climate science is not just for climate scientists it is for everyone.” Joseph Mukabana (regional director, WMO) noted “we need to enhance climate research to support economic development and need to upscale science for policy.”
Robi Reda (Director, Southsouthnorth) closed the ACRC by thanking all partners and organisation involved which helped to make the conference possible, going away with renewed hope that progress had been made in dismantling barriers to climate adaptation action for Africa.
This article was written by Beth Mackay with photos by Kiara Worth (IISD).