African govts urged to invest in weather services

GOVERNMENTS in sub-Saharan  Africa  need to increase investment in their national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) to enable them provide high-quality weather and climate  services, the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) has resolved.

The meeting, which took place in Lusaka end of last month, was discussing the implementation and resource mobilization plan of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (weather and climate services).

It also discussed a key framework for the effective mainstreaming of weather and climate services into sub­ regional and national development policies and plans.

The meeting reviewed the template for national strategic plans for use by national meteorological and hydrological services.

The three-day meeting was attended by ministers from across Africa including Zambian deputy minister of Transport and Communications James Kapyanga and COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya.

Recognising the importance of weather and climate services in socio-economic development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, building climate resilient communities, and disaster risk reduction, the meeting recommended the following:

.That countries in the region needed to develop national strategic plans that were responsive to global, continental, sub-regional and national development priorities.

.That governments should support their NMHSs in developing their national strategic plans, in particular, ministries responsible for meteorology, finance and planning.

.That national governments must consider increasing investment in their NMHSs in particular, in terms of infrastructure and human capacity development.

.That such investment would enable them to provide high- quality weather and climate services that meet sector specific needs.

The ministers agreed to invite the active participation of the private sector, development partners and other relevant funding institutions.

The meeting  was  made  possible  by  the  support  of  the  ClimDev  Africa  Programme   (AUC, AfDB and UNECA).