By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania – The Fifty Third Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 53) starts on Monday August 26 to August 28, 2019 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
GHACOF 53 will convene at Hyatt Regency Hotel (Former Kilimanjaro Hotel) under the theme, “Early warning for Early Action in Support of Climate Resilience.”
The forum will bring together climate scientists, researchers, users from key socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, development partners, decision-makers, media and civil society stakeholders among others.
GHACOF53 is organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners.
The Greater Horn of Africa region comprises Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
What is Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF)
Since 1996, an innovative process known as the Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF) has been running in many parts of the world aimed at providing consensus seasonal climate outlook and guidance to reduce climate-related risks in support of sustainable development efforts of the specific regions. RCOFs were 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. The first meeting was held in 1996 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. RCOFs gained momentum as a regional response to the major 1997–1998 El Niño event, with the first Southern Africa Climate Outlook forum in September 1997. The first Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF1) was organized by the Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC), now called IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya for the March to May (MAM) 1998 rainfall season in February 1998. The main goal of RCOFs is to provide consensus regional seasonal climate outlooks for applications in key socioeconomic sectors in support of resilience building for sustainable development. ICPAC in collaboration with partners has so far convened Forty Nine GHACOFs. GHACOF 50 also commemorates twenty (20) years of organization of Climate Outlook Forums.
Main objectives of GHACOF53
According to a press release by ICPAC, the main objectives of GHACOF53 are;
a) Review lessons/experiences from the use of the products provided during GHACOF 52;
b) Follow up on the implementation of proposed mitigation measures proposed in GHACOF 52;
c) Develop consensus regional climate outlook for the October to December 2019 season;
d) Formulate mitigation strategies for key socio-economic sectors in the GHA region based on the consensus seasonal forecast e) Provide a regional interaction platform for decision makers, climate scientists, research scientists as well as users of climate information.
GHACOF53 come on the heels of GHACOF52 which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May 2019 and GHACOF51 which was held at Entebbe, Uganda in February 2019.
At GHACOF52 which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May, climate scientists and researchers came to a consensus on the seasonal climate outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) season.
The forum is open to all stakeholders including climate scientists from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), farmers, universities, research institutions and regional and international organizations engaged in climate prediction and applications as well as users from various socio-economic sectors. Regional and international, Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations will also be present.
After GHACOF, the NMHSs of each particular country will then downscale the seasonal forecast and release the forecast for the country looking at local details.