Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs) are an innovative process initiated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) project in collaboration with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional institutions and other international organizations. In Africa, the first series of RCOFs were conducted in 1996.
The aim of RCOFs is to provide consensus regional seasonal climate outlooks for applications in climate sensitive socioeconomic sectors for decision support for resilience building and sustainable development (ICPAC, 2016). RCOFs were originally established to focus on seasonal prediction. However, several RCCs have extended the platform to address increased capacity to adapt to climate change. The utility of RCOFs is also being extended into developing and disseminating regional climate change information products.
Under the weather and climate information services for Africa (WISER) programme, the ACPC launched the inaugural RCOFS knowledge exchange event on the 23rd March in Addis Ababa. The session was a rich kick-off event where RCC participants shared useful lessons on their practices of organizing RCOFs. An outcome of the workshop was a decision to establish a community of RCOFs focal persons from the RCCs. To further plan and establish a framework for future activities of the group, ACPC is planning for a follow-up workshop on the 14th May 2018 on the side-lines of the 49th GHACOF session in Djibouti.
The WISER was conceived by DfID in 2015 to stimulate the uptake of climate information by policy makers and vulnerable groups including the youth and women. The rationale behind the programme is the need to device solutions to Africa’s increasingly variable weather and climate which threatens development. Further information on WISER is available at https://www.uneca.org/wiser.
The purpose of the RCOFs knowledge exchange and partnership workshop is to provide a platform for African RCCs to deliberate on a conceptual framework for producing guidelines and procedures for organizing impactful RCOFs in Africa.
- A framework and next steps in the compilation of guidelines for organizing effective RCOFs in Africa.
- Contribution by RCCs of best practices that can potentially be used to develop guidelines.
- Feedback by participants from the East African region attending the 49th session of the GHACOF in Djibouti.
- Formal launch of the RCCs RCOFs organization partnership and knowledge exchange community.
- Identify opportunities, networking and process necessary to realize the objectives of the knowledge exchange partnership.
The focal persons from the African RCCs leading the consensus forecasts production, organization of RCOFs and stakeholder outreach will convene for a 2-3 hour session where brainstorming on the concept of producing guidelines and procedures for organizing RCOFs will take place. Members of the partnership will also share lessons, best practices and success stories from the experience of organizing RCOFs in their sub-region.
The second part of the RCOFs event will be an open session for participants at the 49th session of the GHACOF. Members of the RCOFs knowledge partnership will present the proposed concept of developing guidelines and seek feedback from the participants.
ICPAC. (2016, August). GHACOF44 announcement. Retrieved from ICPAC: http://www.icpac.net/wp-content/uploads/GHACOF-44-Announcement.pdf
Presentations made at the RCOFs event
ACMAD RCOFs Best Practices - Hubert Kabenguela and Bob Alex Ogwang
African RCOFs Knowledge Exchange and Partnership
CR4D IN Africa Regional Workshop on Seasonal to Sub seasonal (S2S) - INNI HALIDOU Seydou
East African Community Secretariat RCOFS best practices - James Kivuva
Lessons learned through GHACOFs - Zachary K.K. Atheru
Regional Climate Outlook Forum Experience of SADC Climate Services Centre - Faka Nsadisa and Sunshine Gamedze
Role of ECOWAS on organizing regional climate outlook forum (RCOF) by RCC (AGRHYMET) - ALFA AHMED IBRAHIM