GHACOF 54 will take place in Mombasa from 27 – 29 January 2020

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BY David Luganda, AFMC/NECJOGHA

Nairobi, Kenya – The Fifty Fourth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 54) will be held in Mombasa, Kenya from 27 – 29 January 2020.

GHACOF 54 will convene under the theme, “Managing Climate-Related Risks for Resilience”.

The forum will bring together climate scientists, researchers, users from key socio-economic sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, development partners, decision makers, and civil society stakeholders among others.

GHACOF 54 is organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), 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 GHACOF 54

According to the press release by ICPAC, the main objectives of GHACOF 54 are;

  1. a) Review lessons/experiences from the use of the products provided during GHACOF 53;
  2. b) Follow up on the implementation of proposed mitigation measures proposed in GHACOF 53;
  3. c) Develop consensus regional climate outlook for the March to May 2020 season;
  4. d) Formulate mitigation strategies for key socio-economic sectors based on the consensus seasonal climate forecast e) Provide a regional interaction platform for decision makers, climate scientists, research scientists and users of climate information.

GHACOF 54 come on the heels of GHACOF53 which was held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania August 28, 2019 and GHACOF52 which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May 2019 and GHACOF51 which was held at Entebbe, Uganda in February 2019.

At GHACOF53 which was held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania August 28, 2019 , climate scientists and researchers came to a consensus on the seasonal climate outlook for October-November-December (OND) season.

After GHACOF54 , the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of each particular country will then downscale the seasonal forecast and release the forecast for the particular country looking at local details.

Full statement: GHACOF 54 

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