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Climate experts to converge in Rwanda

Climate Experts from around the globe will be converging in Kigali, Rwanda as from August 27th – August 28th this year, for the Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF) that will provide consensus on seasonal climate guidance aimed at reducing climate related risks in the Greater Horn of Africa.

Themed, “Promoting Gender Sensitive Weather and Climate Services,” the forum will host representatives from 11 states in the region, climate scientists, researchers and users from key socio-economic sectors, government and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s), development partners, decision makers and civil society among other stakeholders.

The 11 states to be represented at the forum are Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania. Others are South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethopia.

According to Dr. Phillip Omondi, a climate information expert at the IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), the forum will review lessons and experiences from the use of products provided during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Forum (GHACOF 49).

“The forum will also formulate mitigation strategies to implications of consensus regional climate outlook on key socio-economic sectors in the Greater Horn of Africa region, understand gender specific impacts of climate that is user needs and service provision strategies for gender sensitive climate services and provide a regional interaction platform for decision makers, climate research scientists as well as users of climate information,” Dr. Omondi added.

He revealed users specific parallel workshops, including agriculture and food security, water resources, energy, health, livestock, media and disaster risk management will also be organized during the forum.

“The forum will also be used to mark the 50th Anniversary of GHACOF and launch a regional climate Atlas,” Dr. Omondi said, adding that the climate Atlas was a joint effort by researchers aimed at linking changing climate patterns to regions.

The  GHACOF has been held twice or thrice annually since 1996 and this year’s forum will provide climate outlook for the October to December season. The first forum was held in Victoria falls, Zimbabwe following extreme climate events ravaging the region.

The  ICPAC in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the National meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS’s) are organizing the forum.

It will be held within the framework of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional strategy for mainstreaming climate information in key socio- economic sectors for sustainable development.

By  Steve  Ingabo

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