Kampala Declaration Stresses Cross-Regional Cooperation on Climate Services

Speech of theMinister of State for Environment Flavia Munaaba beig delivered by Paul Isabirye Executive Director of Uganda Meteorological Authority

Geneva WMO 23 April 2015: During a Workshop on Improving Climate Services for Farmers in Africa and South Asia, farmers and experts adopted the Kampala Declaration on promoting cross-regional cooperation on sharing and using knowledge on climate products and services. The Declaration came about because of the increased recognition that significant progress has been made in weather and climate forecasting through improved data availability and advances in numerical modeling.

In the Declaration, workshop participants decide to establish the Regional Network of Farmers of Africa and South Asia (RENOFASA), which will develop an implementation plan for: promoting cooperation; disseminating weather and climate information and services to farmers through information and communications technologies (ICTs); organizing training seminars; and establishing advisory teams to interact with farmers and improve the uptake of weather and climate services. The Government of Uganda has offered to host an office to support RENOFASA.

The Declaration notes that improved weather and climate products and services that address relevant seasonal weather and climate challenges will help farmers plan their agricultural activities, and attain better agricultural productivity, increased incomes and improved livelihoods. It also states that remaining barriers in providing weather and climate information include: weak agricultural extension services; poor communication infrastructure; and lack of regional networks linking farmers across Africa or linking farmers in Africa and South Asia.

The Declaration recognizes that, inter alia: enhanced cross-regional cooperation between farmers associations of East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa and South Asia can improve sharing and using knowledge on climate products and services; ICTs advances must be employed to disseminate weather and climate information and services to farmers; and convening training seminars for farmers could lead to increased crop productivity.

In the Declaration, workshop participants decide to appoint an advisory team to, among other things, detail further steps required to ensure that RENOFASA is operational by April 2016. It further requests: the Government of Uganda to offer its support for establishing the RENOFASA office in Kampala and ask other African and South Asian countries to provide provisional financial support for its functioning; the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide financial support to facilitate Advisory Team meetings; and the donor community to provide appropriate financial assistance to RENOFASA.

The workshop, which met in Kampala, Uganda, from 20-22 April 2015, was: organized through the USAID-funded project ‘Laying the Foundation for Establishing Networks Linking Farmers in Africa and South Asia for Demand-driven Climate Services'; and co-sponsored by, inter alia, WMO and Uganda's Ministry of Water and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture. [WMO Press Release] [Kampala Declaration]

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