In November 2022, the FOCUS-Africa project along with its sister projects Down2Earth and CONFER, had the pleasure of holding two side events at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. The first at the WMO-IPCC-MERI Science pavilion on the 14th November and the second at the European Union Pavilion on the 16th of November. The side events were moderated by Sebastian Grey, Scientific Officer at the World Meteorological Organization and regional focal point for FOCUS-Africa. Across the two side events the 3 sister projects presented various project outputs including project videos, a new podcast series on the use of climate services and practical examples of how climate services are being used to resilience and adaptation in different sectors.
At the Science Pavilion, a side event titled “Co-development of tailored climate services for multiple socio-economic sectors and stakeholders in Sub-Saharan Africa” included Nicolas Bellet, Climate Information Expert at the IGAD Climate Predictions and Applications Centre (ICPAC) and David Njuguna, Senior Broadcast Mentor at BBC Media Action representing the CONFER Project; Abebe Tadege, Principal Investigator at ICPAC and Michael Singer, Professor of Hydrology at Cardiff University representing the DOWN2EARTH Project; and Lucy Mtilatila, Director, Malawi Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) representing the FOCUS-Africa project. The event had an in-person audience of approximately 35 people and was followed by interesting discussions around the sustainability of climate services and opportunities for scaling up and out the work that was being done.
At the European Union Pavilion, a side event titled “Climate Services for Adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa” had a slightly modified lineup of panelists with Nicolas Bellet, Climate Information Expert at ICPAC representing the CONFER Project; Winnie Kahemba, Adaptation Strategies Analyst at Climate Analystics and Michael Singer, Professor of Hydrology at Cardiff University representing the DOWN2EARTH Project; and Lucy Mtilatila, Director, Malawi Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) representing the FOCUS-Africa project. At the EU side event, a professional audio-visual team and a TV studio-like setup ensured high production quality to the side event. The event was viewed by an in-person audience of approximately 30 people, with further viewers online and there was excellent engagement from the audience around sustainability and linking climate services to policy and adaptation action.
Across the two side events the key issues that emerged were: 1) climate services have a key role to play in enhancing adaptation and resilience in sub-Saharan Africa across various sectors including agriculture, water, energy and infrastructure; 2) the need to ensure sustainability of the climate services being developed, for example by enhancing locally developed apps rather than introducing new ones; 3) the need to connect climate services to policy and actual support to adaptation action to ensure that improved climate science results in enhanced resilience.
Based on the success and positive experience at COP27, the 3 EU H2020 sister projects have agreed to undertake further joint events.
More details on the side events can be found at the following links:
Prepared by Sebastian Grey (Scientific Officer Agrometeorology, WMO) and Roberta Boscolo (Scientific Officer Energy, WMO)