ICPAC Announces 39th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum February 23-25, in Nairobi

Prof. Laban Ogallo being interviewed by the media at COF meet

IGAD CLIMATE PREDICTION AND APPLICATIONS CENTRE (ICPAC)
THE THIRTY NINTH GREATER HORN OF AFRICA CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORUM (GHACOF39) ANNOUNCEMENT
VENUE: NAIROBI, KENYA
DATE: 23 - 25 FEBRUARY 2015
FORUM THEME:
EARLY WARNING TO COPE WITH CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND CHANGE IN SUPPORT OF RESILIENCE BUILDING IN THE HORN OF AFRICA
1. INTRODUCTION
Since 1997 an innovative process known as the Regional Climate Outlook forum (RCOF) has been running in many parts of the world within the framework of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in collaboration with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional / international climate centres; and other partners aimed at providing consensus regional seasonal climate outlooks to reduce climate related risks, in support of climate smart development for sustainable development. The Thirty Ninth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 39) will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 23 to 25 February 2015. The theme of the forum will be “Early Warning to cope with Climate Variability and Change in support of Resilience Building in the Horn of Africa”.
Climate related disasters are very common in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) and result in socio-economic miseries and economic losses in all countries of the region and these often retard socio-economic development. Climate change is likely to lead to increase in frequency, magnitude, and severity of extreme weather and climate events such as drought, floods, sea level rise, and storm surges. GHA region has been noted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the most vulnerable regions of the world to climate change. In this regard, there is need for robust climate advisories like those provided by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forums (GHACOFs). The GHACOF products can be used for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to enhance the resilience of communities.
One climate system that has been associated with climate extremes over the region is El Niño. GHACOF39 is organized at a time when a weak El Niño has been evolving over equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean for several months. Models and expert opinion released in the recent WMO El Niño update suggest that there is approximately a 65% chance that a weak El Niño event will become established by February 2015. GHACOF 39 will bring together climate experts, researchers, applications experts from critical socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, decision-makers, scientists and civil society stakeholders among others. Several users’ specific workshops such as: Agriculture and Food Security; Water resources; Disaster Risk Reduction; Health; Media will be organized alongside the forum. The forum will be preceded by a capacity building workshop for regional climate experts to be held at ICPAC from 15 to 21 February 2015.
2. OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the forum is to develop consensus regional climate outlook for the March to May 2015 rainfall season and to formulate mitigation strategies to the implications of the consensus regional seasonal climate outlook on the critical climate sensitive sectors of the region. It will also provide a regional interaction platform for the policy makers, climate scientists and research scientists as well as users of climate information. In addition, the forum will review lessons / experiences from the use of the products provided in the previous regional climate outlook forums.
3. CO-OPERATING INSTITUTIONS AND ICPAC PARTNERS
The co-operating institutions include National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) namely Institut Géographique du Burundi; Agence National de la Météorologie de Djibouti; Eritrea Meteorological Service; National Meteorological Services Agency of Ethiopia; Kenya Meteorological Department; Rwanda Meteorological Services; South Sudan Meteorological Services; Sudan Meteorological Authority; Tanzania Meteorological Agency; Uganda Meteorological Agency; IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC); World Bank/Global Framework for Disaster Risk reduction; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); WMO Global Producing Centers of long-range forecasts and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) among others.
4. PARTICIPANTS
The forum is open to all including climate scientists from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), universities, research institutions and regional and international organizations engaged in climate modeling, prediction and applications as well as users from various socio-economic sectors. Regional and international Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations will also be present.
5. WORKING LANGUAGE
English will be the working languages for the forum.
6. PARTICIPATION SPONSORSHIP
Participants are expected to sponsor themselves. However, there will be limited sponsorship from some partners.