Climate services: OACPS and EU forum on ClimSA opens in Seychelles
Seychelles Meteorological Services is widening its data collection network through automatic systems being installed all over the country. (Gerard Larose)
With the aim of raising awareness of the benefits of climate services to end-users, the third Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications Programme (ClimSA) kicked off in Seychelles on Monday.
The three-day forum is being held under the theme "Building Bridges for Climate Services: Advancing Stakeholder Dialogue to Enhance Regional Resilience in Vulnerable Countries."
A joint initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union, ClimSA aims at strengthening the climate services value chain. This includes improving access to climate information, generating and providing climate services, and engaging with users to ensure that they are able to use these services.
The forum, which will take place until September 13, allows participants to share best practices and explore possible solutions for climate action.
Seychelles' Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy, Flavien Joubert, opened the forum as the representative of the host country and said "we hope that the participating countries will be able to derive concrete benefits from these interactive sessions."
"Climate change is a big concern nowadays and as a country, it is important to continue developing in terms of capacity to generate information and make it accessible to those who need it. Nationally we are expecting that it will help the Meteorological Services to better understand what needs to be done to better serve partners that need the information," he added.
Joubert shared that one of the works that the Seychelles Meteorological Services is undertaking is the widening of its data collection network through automatic systems being installed all over the country.
"Another thing that is important for us as the chair of the Africa Island State Climate Commission, we would like to understand what are the benefits that we can bring to the nine member states. There is the possibility, when going to COP28, to invite this group that is present today to interact with the African island states to outline possibilities for financing and resources," said the minister.
Despite being the countries to have the least contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the 79 members of the OACPS are considered to be the most vulnerable countries to the existential threats of climate change.
The assistant secretary-general of OACPS, Christelle Pratt, told reporters, that "one of the really key things during the third ClimSA forum is how we bring together our various regions across the blue planet."
"The Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States takes up quite a large amount of the real estate of the blue planet. This particular forum gives the opportunity to bring member states, our regional organisations, our international partners such as the European Union, the World Meteorological Organisation, and others to come together to have these opportunities to exchange and learn from each other," said Pratt.
The ClimSA programme coordinator at the African Union Commission, Jolly Wasambo, explained that when looking at the African continent as a whole, this is the major programme that deals with climate information to address every sector on the continent.
"When looking at the Agenda 2063, one of the critical things that we find is that we want to build environmental sustainability and resilient economies and communities. ClimSA is spearheading the implementation of such a strategy to provide climate information for agriculture health, water resources, disaster risk reduction, energy, as well as infrastructure and now we're even going further to include marine issues," said Wasambo.
ClimSA is a €85 million investment under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).